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By Marizka Coetzer

Journalist


City of Tshwane pushing to have Poort waterfall flowing again

Measurements of the pipes needed to pump water to top of Magaliesberg have already been taken.


The repairing of the pump at the Wonderboom Nature Reserve in Pretoria is not just a small step, but rather a
giant leap closer to reopening the iconic Poort waterfall.

On Wednesday, the Waterfall committee met at the reserve to discuss the next steps to take to get the waterfall on the top of the Magaliesberg flowing again.

During the meeting, the committee along with the City of Tshwane electrical department visited the pump room site to establish if power could be provided for the pump.

Committee member Xander Loubser said the measurements of the pipes needed to pump water to the top of the mountain were already completed.

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Loubser – a local paramedic who initiated the project in 2019 – said the heavy downpours of rain recently formed a temporary waterfall and sparked his motivation to push harder to get it flowing again.

“Years ago, the water supply to feed the waterfall switched from using the Apies River water to the using municipal after the dirty river water blocked the pump,” he said.

Furthermore, it cost the city R400,000 monthly to keep the water flowing.

“This was during a water scarce period and the waterfall was eventually switched off.”

Andrew Henning from the Tshwane electrical department said as soon as the pump was restored, the power supply could be connected.

“In the past, the pump and the substation powering the pump was vandalised, damaged, or stolen. It was eventually removed.”

Henning said the substation’s only function was to power the waterfall, which was already out of order by then.

He said a substation would be reinstalled on the nature reserve to power the pump.

Wikkie Rieckert from Wikkies Pumps Pretoria has also come on board and visited the pump room to check the work needed to restore the pump.

A city of Tshwane worker by the pump that used to pump water to the Poort waterfall in the Wonderboom Nature Reserve that is no longer working, 17 February 2021. Picture: Jacques Nelles

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After inspecting the pump, Rieckert said it had to be restored and serviced to get it in working order again.

“The motor has been standing for five years and that’s long,” he said.

Rieckert said a strainer would be installed at the pump to help manage the litter and pollution to avoid pump damage.

“They first wanted to go the solar route but it did not materialise.”

Factors such as the reserve regulations and the crime contributed to the pump being powered by electricity.

The committee said it was back to the drawing board to get all the aspects working to get power back to pump and the waterfall flowing.

– marizkac@citizen.co.za

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