Municipality to tackle water loss

The eThekwini Municipality will deploy all available resources in an attempt to reduce the escalating rate of water loss in the City. The Executive Committee (EXCO), at its meeting on Tuesday, 17/09/2013, expressed concern that water loss continues to rise, with the latest figures indicating non-revenue water having risen from 34% to 37%.

EXCO urged City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole to take all possible measures to deal with this challenge, including the use of technology and local communities to detect and fix water leaks. Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Nigel Gumede said the problem was further complicated by illegal connections and the mushrooming of informal settlements.

He said there was a need to educate the people on water saving and to put a stop to illegal connections. “People need to learn to use water sparingly, and they need to be properly trained about how to detect water leakages because water will soon become an expensive commodity if nothing is done to conserve it.”
Sithole said the administration is exploring all possible remedies and 55 people have already been employed to detect water leakages.

"We have to try and use every available mechanism to save water, and that is why we now have hired people to detect water leakages where they use a GPS to map the exact location of the leak and this enables our maintenance teams to immediately attend to where a leakage has been identified.”

He said the Municipality was also looking at models from other cities as to how they were dealing with the issue of non-revenue water.
The Municipality is currently paying an excess of R163.6m towards Non-Revenue Water annually and the trend is growing by approximately 2% year-on-year. Despite this challenge, the Water and Sanitation Unit has made some positive progress in this regard, with interventions like the installation of new Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV), removing illegal connections, metering unmetered properties, maintaining existing PRV’s and conducting active leak detections.

Meanwhile, EXCO has issued a stern warning to land invaders who continue to occupy pieces of land illegally in different areas in the City. Sithole warned that the Municipality would continue its effort to demolish illegal structures and was looking at strengthening the Land Invasion Unit. "People who continue to invade land must not have hope that we will provide them with services. We need to send a strong message that we cannot allow people to do as they please and expect to jump the queue ahead of other people who are waiting for houses and services.”

Executive Leadership development for Councillors

EXCO has unanimously agreed to enrol 25 Councillors from the Municipality for the Executive Leadership Development programme that will be hosted by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). The training is part of the Councillor capacity enhancement programme that is aimed at capacitating Councillors on matters pertaining to local governance.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala, who has also attended the course before, said the importance of the Councillors attending this training could not be underestimated as this course will help them to understand their roles in government better and ultimately optimise their performance in service delivery. “This training is very important for our Councillors and it is a worthy investment if we want to accelerate service delivery. The fact that it is also offered by a reputable institution, the University of Pretoria, also gives credence to the fact that it is a good course and will help us in the long run,” she said.

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit. For more information contact Municipal Spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 or 0827317456 or e-mail thabo1.mofokengdurban.gov.za or Aphelele Ntumbu on 084 7103663 or email aphelele.ntumbu@durban.gov.za