Question NW598 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
29 May 2020 - NW598
Tafeni, Ms N to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
What measures has her department put in place to assist the Mnquma Local Municipality to provide its residents with water?
With regard to water supply to the residents of Mnquma, the Department has committed to the following medium to long term interventions:
(i) Medium term intervention: R64 million is allocated as Drought Relief through an allocation of drought funding under Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG). Drilling of boreholes by an appointed contractor is in place to equip boreholes in Teko Kona for water that is to be piped back to Butterworth. The Covid-19 Intervention Plan is also under implementation with an allocation of 169 water tanks and 6 water tankers within the Mnquma Local Municipality area.
(ii) Long-term intervention: Ngqamakhwe Bulk Water Transfer Project - The Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) project is committed by my department at a project cost estimate of R725 million. Upon its completion, it will primarily focus on significant enhancement of the water security of Butterworth. This will introduce an additional source of raw water from the Tsomo River and thus augment the current Xilinxa River supply. My department has further appointed an Internal Construction Unit to implement this project and site establishment was targeted to be undertaken by 31 March 2020. Due to lockdown the official target date is revised and is set for Mid -May 2020
(iii) Long-term intervention: Gcuwa Weir raising: In considering options for the improvement of the water supply to Butterworth, the DWS Engineers have arrived at proposed solutions of the Government Water Scheme supplying the town. They have identified increasing storage capacity of the Gcuwa weir as the best solution in light of the diminished capacity of the weir due to siltation. They have recommended the raising of the weir as the best option ahead of de-siltation and dredging. The internal Dam design team (Engineering Services) have been instructed to embark on designs for the Gcuwa weir raising. They have indicated that designs will be finished in September 2020, enabling the Internal Construction unit to mobilise the site in October 2020 to start construction. The construction will cost about R160 million and will take 12 months to complete.
During the course of this drought period the Mquma Water Intervention Technical Task Team conducts weekly meetings that are chaired by the Office of the Premier of the Eastern Cape. The stakeholders include the Office of the Premier, officials of my department and of CoGTA. In addition, there are broader sectors of Municipalities, Community leaders and Amatola Water Board represented in the task team.