Feb 13, 2019The Department of Water and Sanitation says it is currently funding numerous projects within the Makana Local Municipality that are meant to ensure security of water supply to the town of Makhanda – formerly Grahamstown, and others facing a water crisis brought on by the ongoing drought int the Eastern Cape.”Included in the list of projects currently being funded by the Department of Water and Sanitation is the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works (which is being funded through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant funding),” described Departmental spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau.”The project consists of the upgrading and refurbishment of the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works (WTW) with funding provided through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG). This WTW has a design capacity of 10Ml/d and is currently operating at 150% of its capacity.”It is incapable of supplying the requirements of Grahamstown.”Ratau said that the project will consist of four phases: Phase 1 – Augmentation of the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works, Upgrading of Sludge Ponds and Balancing Reservoir; Phase 2 – Augmentation of the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works, inlet works, settling tanks, filters etc.; Phase 3 – Upgrading / Refurbishment of Existing 350mm dia. Pumping Main; and Phase 4 – Upgrading Existing Water Treatment Works Currently phase 1 is 85% complete with expected completion being end March 2019.”The department has provided additional funds to achieve this target and has approved the project to continue with all these phases,” he added.”R80 million has been set aside for 2019/20 and a further R60m within this Mid Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period.”He said that in the second project, the Mayfield Waste Water Treatment Works is being upgraded (also being funded through the RBIG funding).”The augmentation of the Mayfield Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) project is a multiyear project being implemented within the EC Region under the RBIG Programme,” he said.”The project is currently on hold due to budget constraints. ECDC funding is promised for this intervention.”In the third project, the Belmont Valley Waste Water Treatment Works is getting an upgrade (again through RBIG funding).”The Belmont Valley WWTW is currently not meeting the set discharge standards and needs to be upgraded and refurbished. The WWTW’s is currently running at 150% of its capacity,” Ratau said.”The upgrade will unlock development in the area as currently all housing projects have been put on hold as the WWTW is overloaded and overflowing, thus polluting water resources in the area and downstream. ECDC funding is promised for this intervention.”He added that the fourth project is about Water Conservation and Demand Management ( WCDM), which is being funded through the Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Grant funding.”The funding made available for the WCDM is R10 000 000 – 00. Currently several interventions are being implemented. The project completion time is set for end June 2019.”He said in the fifth intervention, the Riebeeck East WTW is being refurbished through the WSIG funding.”A petition was submitted by the community of Riebeeck East due to the continuous water supply shortages and water interruptions,” Ratau said.”The raw water supply is abstracted from the four boreholes and the bulk water supply is almost 50% under capacity, and urgent attention is required to address the shortfall.”The plant requires an upgrade to meet the current water demand, future demand and ability to cater for the waterborne sewage as the area is still in use of VIP toilets and septic tanks.”The project aim is to upgrade the plant to 1Ml/d to provide adequate capacity for current demand and provision of waterborne sewage system. The estimated cost for the refurbishment of Riebeeck East WTW is R15 000 000 – 00.”Ratau said that in another project, the Alicedale WTW is being refurbished. “Alicedale is the small town situated in between a variety of game reserves and hunting lodges. It has one major industry, namely a large Mohair factory,” he described.”The existing water treatment works is in a bad state of disrepair and does not meet Department of Water and Sanitation standards.”It is also under capacity during summer peak periods. It requires upgrading to 2.2 Ml/day capacity to cater for the current demand and future developments. The estimate cost for the Refurbishment of Alicedale WTW is R10 000 000 – 00.”Ratau said that an Incremental Groundwater Development project in the Makhanda area has been planned.”Currently the consultant is busy with the drafting of the full scope of works for the project. The total funding allocation for this project which was made available was R12 000 000 – 00,” he said.The eighth project is again a Water Conservation and Demand Management project for Makhanda.”Funding requirement for this project is R10 000 000 – 00. The Makana Local Municipality has received R22 000 000 through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) – Drought Mitigation funding, which must be utilized before end March 2019.”Ratau said that the municipality also received R35 000 000 under the WSIG funding stream for the refurbishment of both Alicedale and Riebeeck East WTW’s and the implementation of WCDM.”With regards to the regulatory functions of the DWS, Makhanda can be taken to court for spilling raw sewage into the Kowie and other rivers due to failing infrastructure.”Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.