PATRICIA Motla of contractors Motla Projects, ward 66 councillor Ina Strijdom and the City of Tshwane’s Annaline Cronje during the handing over of the water network replacement project in Clubview. 
 Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - The days of sinkholes popping up all over the Centurion area are numbered, following the implementation of a water network replacement project.

The water reticulation system that is being replaced in Clubview and Hennopspark is approximately 60 years old.

The asbestos cement pipes originally installed there had surpassed their design-life, which, together with high water pressure, led to the pipes bursting frequently.

Burst pipes often triggered dolomitic erosion, which expanded underground cavities. When water runs into cracks in dolomite rock, it dissolves the rock, causing it to disintegrate.

Phase 1 of the project in Hennopspark, which started in September last year, is already complete. Phase 2 of the project in Clubview is expected to be completed in April 2020.

MMC for Utility Services Darryl Moss said the city needed R2 billion to replace worn out water networks: “This is just one of the ongoing projects in the city. All these projects are aimed at improving and extending our infrastructure, and replacing old and outdated infrastructure so as to deliver a better service to our customers across the city.”

He said the city would also save the massive amount of water that went unaccounted for due to the aged infrastructure.

Ward councillor Ina Strijdom welcomed the refurbishment, saying it would make life easier for residents and might even boost property values.

Strijdom said she had regularly been inundated with calls from residents frustrated by burst pipes: “For them, more than not having water, they were mostly concerned about the... sinkholes from the burst water pipes.”

Project manager Annaline Cronje said because of the dolomite, they opted not to blast with explosives but with chemicals.

The project was expected to set the city back by R15 million.

Resident Fannie Buizendenhout, who has lived in the area her entire life, said over the past 30 years, she had never waited so long for a problem to be addressed. She said ward 66 had been plagued with water troubles since 2013.

Old water pipes has burst across the city and several people had complained about leaking water meters, she added.

A total of 119 sinkholes were recorded in the Centurion CBD from the early 1970s until mid-2012 and the situation was not getting any better.

There were 24 sinkholes in Tshwane, 23 of which were in the Centurion, Laudium and Olievenhoutbosch regions.

Pretoria News