While most parts of the eThekwini metro will likely have its water supply affected by the upcoming planned maintenance shutdown at the Durban Heights Water Treatment Plant in Reservoir Hills, authorities say they are trying to finish the job in under 24 hours, as prescribed by engineers.
IOL spoke to Siyabonga Maphumulo on behalf of the uMngeni-uThukela Water project about what exactly is going to be done and how long the work is expected to affect water supply to Durban residents.
Authorities confirmed that teams will be working on the Aqueduct 2 pipeline, which suffered extensive damages during the April 2022 floods.
The project is expected to be carried out from midnight on Wednesday and midnight on Thursday.
Towards the north, Durban North, uMhlanga, Phoenix, Verulam, Redcliffe, Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu will experience disruptions or low water pressure during this time.
In the south, uMlazi, Chatsworth, Folweni, Savannah Park, Klaarwater, Shallcross, Welbedacht West, and Demat will be affected.
In the west, Chesterville, Queensburgh, Westville, Pinetown, KwaSanti, Richmond Farm, St Wendolins, Luganda, Mawelewele, parts of Nagina and the Washington Heights area will be affected.
While the job was planned to span a period of 24 hours, Maphumulo said the team is pushing to get it done before that.
Engineers working on the job are going to be using carbon fibre to repair damaged parts of the pipeline, which feeds raw water into the treatment plant at the top of Reservoir Hills.
“The estimated time given to complete the job was 24 hours. If during the course of the inspection the team finds the work may exceed 24 hours, but at this point, we do not anticipate that the work will exceed 24 hours,” Maphumulo said.
“If anything, we are gunning to get the job done before 24 hours or 24 hours on the dot, because we do realise the inconvenience it will cause. Remember this is planned maintenance, not a spur of the moment thing, so in essence this is what the engineers have said.”
From Wednesday to Friday, the South African Local Government Association (Salga) will be hosting its national executive meeting in Durban to discuss issues vexing municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, including eThekwini.
One of the burning issues up for discussion surrounding service delivery in eThekwini is water supply and water infrastructure, which has also been the subject of an inquiry of the South African Human Rights Commission report released last month.
The SAHRC said the City had violated the rights of residents by denying them access to clean drinking water.