Question NW2751 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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27 November 2020 - NW2751

Mohlala, Mr M to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

What are the details of her department’s short-term plan to ensure that the community of Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape has access to water, more especially that the draught has almost dried up the Orange River?

Reply:

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) does not consider the Orange River as being under drought conditions and there are no water restrictions imposed on water resource use in the upper Orange River catchment. Therefore, no special drought plans are under consideration. However, the Orange River does have seasonal variations in terms of flow, with lower flows experienced in late winter. Alternative sources such as boreholes and springs are developed and utilised as alternate standby sources.

The Department is aware that the Joe Gqabi District Municipality (JGDM) does have water distribution constraints to the extent that there is a moratorium on further developments until the water services are upgraded in line with the Aliwal North Water Master Plan. The Joe Gqabi District Municipality does have short and medium term plans to improve water services in the area as follows:

a) Two projects already commenced with are the construction of two raw water off-channel storage dams at the water works (MIG funded) and replacement of asbestos cement bulk pipeline and leaking valves (WSIG funded),

b) Funding is currently still being sought for further short term plans to:

  • Build a new 2 Ml Clear Water Sump and install a high lift pump at the WTW,
  • Build a 1,2Ml reservoir and a 400kl elevated tank at the springs; and install a high pressure gravity main.

c) Medium Term Plans:

  • Upgrade of WTW by 2,5Ml and installation of a desalination/package plant at the springs,
  • Replacement of the old 200mm asbestos cement rising main and upgrade of pump station and main reservoir at the springs.

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