EThekwini lambasted for failing to maintain water supply infrastructure after plumbing supplies dried up

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By Lee rondganger May 31, 2021

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Durban – eThewkini Municipality does not have an adequate supply of compressing other plumbing fittings, which means it cannot fix some burst pipes, leaks and broken water meters.

The admission by the municipality was revealed in a written response to questions posed by DA Councilor Billy Mzamo in terms of Rule 27 of the Rules of Court.

The city, in response to a question about why stores did not have enough materials, said: “The reason for the out of stock for compression fittings was that the WS.7020 contract was declared no. awarded because all bids received were technically non-sensitive.

“The reasons for the copper / brass fittings out of stock were that the validity of the tender had expired during the national Covid-19 lockdown and could not be extended, and the tender for ‘bids was also declared unassigned’.

In a statement, Mzamo said the city had admitted its “utter failure” in maintaining water in the Durban metro.

“Essentially, there is a lack of maintenance equipment to fix burst pipes, leaks and meters, such as compression fittings as well as copper and brass fittings,” Mzamo said.

“In the response, the city also admitted that the plumbers were still dealing with water-related complaints, but there was nothing they could do about it. Surprisingly, they were always paid for their time, ”he said.

Mzamo said that during a recent DA surveillance inspection at the Pinetown and Springfield water depots, we were able to confirm that the municipality did not have critical spares in their stores to fix the burst pipes, leaks and water meters, which in turn affected its response time and the stable water supply to the residents of eThekwini.

“The DA will continue to monitor the situation and lobby the municipality to provide appropriate services to the residents of eThekwini. Due to pressure from DA, we are seeing that this issue of lack of maintenance spare parts is being resolved. The shortage of plumbing material has had a negative impact on the well-being of the inhabitants of eThekwini and those responsible will be held responsible for this mess, ”he said.

Earlier this year, the city revealed that its three major commercial utilities, water, electricity and sanitation, have cost nearly a billion rand in losses.

About 51% of the city’s water revenue is lost; the national benchmark should be between 15% and 30%.


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