/ 1 July 2024

Rand Water makes headway in Johannesburg maintenance project

Trucks Water Delivery 8998 Dv
Rand Water has assured residents in the City of Johannesburg that water will flow into taps soon

Rand Water has assured residents in the City of Johannesburg that water will flow into taps soon, after the utility initiated a month-long maintenance project on 22 June.

“Our teams are working around the clock to ensure that the maintenance is completed and we are seeing progress,” Rand Water’s chief executive, Sipho Mosai, told a joint media briefing with Johannesburg Water on Monday morning. 

The utility, which supplies potable water to Gauteng and other areas of the country, recently announced that it would embark on extensive maintenance of its infrastructure from 22 June to 29 July 2024, and warned of limited supply in some areas as a result.

Rand Water spokesperson Makenosi Maroo said in a statement that “proactive infrastructure maintenance is important to preserve the quality and integrity of the infrastructure, reduce maintenance costs in the long term and increase the lifespan of the infrastructure and assets”.

To mitigate the effect of the maintenance work, 85 water trucks were sent to various regions at the request of councillors while 250 tanks have been supplied to hospitals, clinics, old-age homes, schools and police stations.

Rand Water said it would carry out the maintenance of its pipes on different dates in the various municipalities to ensure the stability of supply.

The utility now says capacity is increasing in its four main booster stations: Eikenhof, Palmiet, Mapleton and Zwartkopjes. 

But residents across Johannesburg whose supply has been disrupted have expressed dissatisfaction with Rand Waters’s decision to undertake a 39-day pipe maintenance project. 

A 74-year-old resident in Glenvista, in Johannesburg south, said this has been particularly hard on sick and older people. 

“How do you expect a 74-year-old man to go and fill buckets and then carry them for 5km to his house, just to use the toilet? It is unacceptable. Better provisions need to be made for disadvantaged people if they want to carry out maintenance projects,” he said. 

Jessica Modisi,19, said the water tankers have not been providing enough water for residents in Alberton. 

“We have to get to the tankers early otherwise you stand in long lines with the possibility of not getting any water,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Rand Water began maintenance in the City of Tshwane on Monday. The metro’s spokesperson, Lindela Mashigo, said where possible, the affected reservoirs had been filled before the work was initiated, but warned “the water supply may be interrupted during the upkeep period, and residents are therefore urged to use water sparingly”.

Rand Water said it had to carry out maintenance during low water demand seasons to ensure the reliability of its infrastructure during high demand periods.