Waterpipe upgrade on course

Councillor Darryl Moss, member of the mayoral committee for infrastructure (centre) with Centurion councillors Ina Strijdom and Peter Sutton, at the launch of the water pipe replacement project.

The upgrade to the Centurion water reticulation system is already benefitting locals.

According to local councillor Ina Strijdom which, the upgrade has resulted in a drastic reduction in pipe-bursts

The Tshwane metro starting replacing the water network for Clubview and Hennopspark in Centurion in February.

“The project was set to run for six months, and three months in, it is all on track,” said Strijdom.

The replaced pipes were old 75mm asbestos-cement pipes that were brittle and cracking.

It is suspected burst pipes are a direct cause of 90 percent of sinkholes in the area.

In terms of the scope of work, approximately 3 500m of High-Density Polyethylene pipe (HDPE) will be laid, and valves and water meters will be replace where required.

Strijdom, whose constituency includes Clubview, said this week that the work was almost complete.

“The project is on track and progressing well,” said Strijdom.

“Upon completion, the team will need to do pressure testing before they can switch over to the new pipes.”

She said the metro was planning to replace more pipes.

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“Already, there are fewer pipe bursts in the Clubview area,” she said.

“Since they started working, we have had only one, and that is a big decrease.”

Strijdom said most of the water leaks were now caused by contractors such as Telkom that accidentally damaged the pipes while digging.

“There is a problem area in the Jim van der Merwe/Von Willigh Avenue area to the Columbia Avenue side of Clubview,” added Strijdom.

“A private developer did certain pipe upgrades in that area.”

Strijdom requested that, if time and budget permitted, those pipes be replaced as well.

“The Tshwane metro will replace the saddles on the new pipes installed by the contractor, as currently it is causing a pressure problem from time to time.”

Strijdom has also requested the metro to extend the pipe-replacement project to other parts of Clubview.

“We will know within the next three weeks how far they are with the saddles, and how much money is left.”

“If we don’t get it done now, we are hopeful we could do it with budget in the next financial year, which starts in July.

“I would like this project prioritised, and extended to a larger area.

“Water pipe bursts are a crisis area for me and if time and money are available, I would like to see more done.

“We have had no injuries and no serious incidents.”

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She said the project employed 13 workers under the Expanded Public Works Programme.

“An advantage for them is that while they are working they are getting in-house training.

“At the end of it they will get a certificate so it will be easier for them to find job.”

Councillor Peter Sutton, in whose ward half of the project is located, said: “The water pipe replacement in Hennopspark is progressing well, and we are still on track to have the project completed in July.

“The streets receiving a complete new water network were Acacia, Maroela between Acacia and Olive, and Tambotie.

“Since the inception of this project we have seen a number of pipe bursts, especially over the past few weeks.

“It is important to note that this is not the new pipes that are bursting.

“We remain on the old dilapidated water network until the completion of the new water pipe installation.

“The number of pipe bursts in recent times emphasises that the new water pipeline could not have come sooner.”

The new water pipelines would ensure better service to residents but would also result in cost saving to the municipality over the long term, he said.

“We know that the project can be disrupting to the residents but the end result will be worth this,” he said.

Councillor Darryl Moss, member of the mayoral committee responsible for infrastructure said R16 million had been made available in the last financial year for the replacement of the worn-out water networks.

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A further R1 million had been ring-fenced for lengthening of water pipelines.

“We must address the backlog. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometres of pipes that need to be replaced,” he said.

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Vivien van der Sandt

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