The reverse osmosis (RO) plant operator that is key to Port Alfred’s water supply has been instructed to return to the site by Friday 18 November 2022. Meanwhile, Ndlambe Municipality has released a detailed plan to manage its constrained water resources during the festive season.
Ndlambe’s biggest residential and business centre, Port Alfred, is short of 1.5 megalitres a day to meet its demand of 6.8 ML/day. This is because the RO plant operator, Quality Filtration Systems (QFS) ceased operations on 1 October, saying the municipality had not paid in full for its services.
Ndlambe took QFS to court to force it to continue its work, claiming it had breached the contract by suspending all work without adequate notice. Ndlambe said QFS owed money for electricity supplied by the municipality, had failed to provide the volumes of water agreed on and had failed to give adequate notice; however, in late October, the Makhanda High Court ruled in favour of QFS.
In a statement on 8 November, Ndlambe said it had resolved to implement the judgment and pay QFS with the aim of getting the RO plant back in operation as soon as possible.
“The monies due to QFS have been paid on Friday 4 November and the contractor was expected to have been back on site after payment but it is not yet the case,” the municipality said on 8 November. “The municipality has instructed the Employers representative to write an instruction to the contractor to go back on site immediately.”
Nine days later, the RO plant was still not operating and Talk of the Town understands there were ongoing meetings between QFS and Ndlambe senior management.
In the 18 November statement (see below) Ndlambe said an instruction has been issued for QFS to return to site by Friday 18 November 2022.
Standby teams, water tanks
Ndlambe’s Festive Season Water Plan (see below) sets out in detail, for each of the municipality’s 10 wards:
- The water sources for that area, current water demand and anticipated festive season demand;
- Possible risks to the supply;
- Planned interventions to prevent or mitigate those risks, and plans for alternative water delivery methods.
Common to all wards are a plan to run community water awareness campaigns; conduct regular inspections for leaks and burst pipes; water services staff on standby to promptly attend to any situation affecting the water supply.
Meanwhile, the Cooperative Governance-funded water conservation and demand management programme had begun the process of replacing old valves, meters and air valves, installing booster pumps and, in Port Alfred, drilling boreholes at the East Bank dunes to unlock additional water availability.
Nemato and Nkwenkwezi booster pumps had been upgraded and new pumps for Rosehill and Alfred Road would all be installed before the end of November 2022.
Standby teams would be available throughout the season. And the number to call for any water related issues is 0466045500 extension 02 and 03.
For emergencies in Port Alfred, Bathurst and Seafield, call Sipho Babama (0723022920).
For emergencies in Alexandria, Kenton Bushmans, Marselle, Kenton On Sea, Boknes and Cannon Rocks, call Thulani Maluleke( 0728496547).
Ndlambe has urged communities to use water sparingly.
For the detailed plan in each area, see the statement below (4 pages):
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