MunicipalNews

Joburg Water’s two-month unfinished work on Pretoria Avenue

Ward councillor Emi Koekemoer explained that she hasn't seen a reinstatement in her ward take less than two weeks to complete.

Johannesburg Water repaired the burst pipe on Pretoria Avenue in Ferndale but the reinstatement work has not been completed in almost two months.

Contractors excavated the road following the first major burst which caused the Kensington B water outage in February. The road was left with a large hole and the rubble was not removed, forcing motorists to use one lane.

The spokesperson for Johannesburg Water Nombuso Shabalala explained that the burst was caused by fluctuations in working and residual pressures due to demand and usage etc.

One lane is closed because of the mess left by Joburg Water. Photo: Mthulisi Lwazi Khuboni

“The latter variables lead to air pockets entering the system that ultimately result in water hammer. This phenomenon is often exacerbated by ageing infrastructure, subsoil conditions, high water table, seasonal temperature fluctuations and other factors beyond the control of Johannesburg Water.”
The term ‘water hammer’ refers to a pressure surge from a rapid change in the flow velocity where the pressure at the point of the burst exceeds the design pressure of the pipeline.

The pipe that Joburg Water was fixed on Pretoria Avenue. Photo: Mthulisi Lwazi Khuboni

When asked why the excavation was taking so long to reinstate, she said some backfilling and reinstatement jobs were done internally by Johannesburg Water teams, while medium to large-scale jobs were outsourced through service providers.

“In this specific case, a service provider needs to be contracted to do the job because of the magnitude of the work that needs to be done on the reinstatement job. A contractor needs to be appointed. At the moment, Johannesburg Water has requested quotations from potential service providers. The rubble will be taken away once the contractor begins with reinstatement work.”

Rubble left for nearly two months on Pretoria Avenue in Ferndale. Photo: Mthulisi Lwazi Khuboni

She added once quotations have been received from potential service providers, the proper supply chain management procedures will be followed, including evaluation and appointment of a contractor.

Ward 104 councillor Emi Koekemoer said there had been a massive backlog in reinstatements in the city despite Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda and the Government of Local Unity’s commitment to ‘declare war on reinstatements’.

Ward 104 councillor Emi Koekemoer. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

“To date, very little has been done in Region B to address the issue despite outstanding reinstatements growing by the hundreds every month with the increase in failing infrastructure. Multiple attempts have been made by councillors to address the overall crisis in councillor forums but very little progress has been made.”

She concluded the city’s Service Level Agreement states that reinstatements should be done within two weeks but she hasn’t seen any reinstatement in her ward being completed in this time frame.

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