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Dogged by historic lack of maintenance from past contracted service providers, laxed project management oversight and infrastructure vandalism, Mogale City’s Water Services has swiftly taken steps towards the refurbishment and maintenance of non-functional sewer pump stations across the city. From sourcing of much-needed funds, supply chain compliant fast-tracked procurement, and the appointment of a service provider to take on this mammoth project, municipal efforts to manage the spillage of sewer into the city’s river system, close to residential areas and other areas posing major health risks has been prioritised.

Several sewage pump stations located across the city are currently non-functional largely due to lack of maintenance, theft and vandalism of water and sewer infrastructure as briefly mentioned above. The bulk of the required maintenance which requires specialist skills, equipment and other resources was done by a contractor whose contract came to an end.

Moving forward, the required deliverables, quality of work and performance monitoring required will not just see cost-cutting but also accountability, transparency and ensuring services paid for were commensurate with the work done.

Considering the posed threats to animal life, our biodiversity and human health, the following four major sewage pumpstations have been targeted for refurbishment and maintenance within the current 2023/2024 financial year ending 30 June 2024:

  1. Munsieville – Munsieville Extension 4
  2. Muldersdrift – Rietfontein Village
  3. Muldersdrift – eThembalethu, and
  4. Magaliesburg – Ga Mohale

These four major sewage pumpstations are set for completion and operation between June and August 2024.  The remaining smaller sewage pumpstations will be targeted for refurbishment and maintenance in the new forthcoming financial year spanning 1 July 2024 – 30 June 2025:

  1. Magaliesburg – Hilltop and River
  2. Rietvallei – Rietvallei Extension 1 and Lusaka
  3. Mindalore – Royal Cradle 1 & 2 (affected due to vandalism – cable theft), and Adam Street
  4. Noordheuwel – Bush Street, and
  5. Chancliff – Chancliff Estates

Munsieville Sewer Pumpstation

Upon the appointment of a service provider on 4 March 2024, the Munsieville sewer pumpstation site handover soon after took place on 6 March 2024 and work is currently underway. On 7 March work to empty the pump chamber and sump commenced which necessitated personnel to block off the sewer pipeline outside the pump station to make way for trucks to empty into the sump and chamber. While Water Services acknowledges that this process was unpleasant for adjacent residents who raised their displeasure at the time, it was the only way to gain access to the sewer pipeline and complete the work. Additional work at the sewer pumpstation is still underway.

Brickvale Residential Settlement Sewer Pumpstation

Although forming part of the housing development currently under construction, this pumpstation is also on the list of non-functioning pumpstations in the city, stemming from vandalism after the pump and electrical components were stolen. As the work is linked to the residential construction work of this for the residential area, the contractor for the required pumpstation repair work is already on site and visible advances are being made on sludge removal. The pump should be fully restored, tested and operational by the end of May 2024. Once completed, the sewer pump station will be formally handed over to the Department of Infrastructure Development for future maintenance work. 

The Rietvallei Sewer Pumpstation

The Rietvallei Extension 5 sewer pumpstation is sub-merged under underground water and a specialist task team comprising Mogale City, Johannesburg Water, Rand Water, the national Department of Water and Sanitation, Harmony Mining and Bigen Consulting Engineers has been convened to investigate and deal with this pendant challenge. 

Dealing with vandalism and theft of municipal infrastructure

Theft of and vandalism to municipal infrastructure where the municipality keeps on repairing vandalized infrastructure at high costs to keep our facilities fully operational is a menace to the municipality. Having also added additional guarding services, the vandalism currently experienced seems to be a very well-orchestrated attack on our facilities where the perpetrators do so heavily armed pushing the municipality to consider more serious interventions to curb, which are however quite costly.

Considering past encounters and for purposes of transparency, it may be useful to indicate that our current focus includes the inspection and assessment of four sewer pump stations, with status updates and emergency interventions projected for end April 2024. Additionally, the unblocking of blocked outfall sewers is scheduled to be completed by April-May 2024. Repair and refurbishment work is also set to commence in April 2024, alongside project planning, management, implementation, and reporting on each pumpstation. Weekly site inspections and assessments are also being conducted before payments are disbursed.

Whilst the municipality has put measures in place for improved contract management, accountability, and internal operational efficiency, current operational sewage pumpstations will be serviced as part this scope of work. Furthermore, resources for long-term maintenance of the pumpstations will form part of a bigger plan for the improved management and operation of the city’s network of sewage pumpstations.