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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

‘It’s not driven by the political timetable’ – Rand Water on maintenance schedule

Rand Water says some areas will take longer to recover from the shutdown.

Rand Water CEO Sipho Mosai has explained the entity’s maintenance schedule, saying it is never decided based on the political timetable.

The entity, the City of Joburg, the City of Tshwane and the City of Ekurhuleni shared the progress on the Rand Water Infrastructure Maintenance Projects that have left several parts of Gauteng without water.

Rand Water has a planned maintenance which will take place from 22 June to 29 July 2024.

ALSO READ: There’ll be no water in these 18 areas in Joburg South on Sunday

On Sunday,18 areas in the south of Johannesburg were affected as the entity replaced a meter at its South Hills Towers.

‘The system is recovering’

Although the water supply was shut until 8 pm, some areas would take longer to recover, explained Mosai on Monday.

Mosai also defended the entity’s maintenance schedule from those who thought the best time to maintain the systems would have been before the elections.

“Our maintenance is not driven by the political timetable, but our timetable in terms of asset management. Now because theoretically speaking, the demand drops,” said Mosai.

ALSO READ: Tshwane water woes continue as city works on plan

“So, we’re using this time to do all these repairs, and maintenance to ensure that when we get to the summer months, we have done it to meet the demand.”

While the areas may be shut down at the same time, recovery time would, however, be different, said Mosai.

“The system is recovering, some areas will recover before the others, while others will recover later because when you take out a system, you completely empty the pipes and the reservoirs run low. We first have to fill the reservoirs to pump it,” he explained.

“For those who have water, please use it sparingly.”

As of 12pm on Monday, the Zwartkopjes Pump Station was running at 100% maximum capacity.

ALSO READ: Joburg residents fear not, Rand Water maintenance is not an emergency

“However, due to the interconnected nature of the systems, they mutually augment and affect each other. There is a gradual improvement in the performance of the systems that are being supplied by the Zwartkopjes Pump Station,” said Johannesburg Water managing director Ntshavheni Mukwevho.

Some areas still without water

The Crown Gardens Reservoir made gains overnight and was at 79% capacity. It has been opened at 50% to gradually charge the system and supply the area.

Residents residing in low-lying areas within the reservoir zone are receiving water, while those in higher-lying areas will experience a combination of poor pressure to no water.

ALSO READ: Joburg Water acknowledges struggles as taps run dry

Pumping continued at the Crown Gardens Tower and was sitting at 45%.

Residents in the tower zone are receiving normal water supply as the system undergoes recovery.

The Eagles Nest Reservoir was at 29% capacity and maintained some stability overnight. It was supplying fairly, said Mukwevho.

The water supply in Orange Farm and its surrounds was low due to the high demand for the Orange Farm Reservoir. It was sitting at 28%.

“Poor pressure may be experienced, especially in high-lying areas,” said Mukwevho.

ALSO READ: Water outage ‘sabotage’

The Ennerdale and Lawley reservoirs also remained low due to the high water demand.

“Despite efforts to restore the reservoir, high demand for water is affecting the recovery process. Poor pressure may be experienced, especially in high-lying areas,” said Mukwevho of the two reservoirs.

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