Sabie water reticulation under pressure

Michele du Plessis

Sabie residents have experienced countless problems with water supply. The Thaba Chweu Local Municipality water reticulation project in Mount Anderson, Sabie, should have been completed in September 2017.

At the SCCT meeting, feedback was given on the unfinished water reticulation project in Mount Anderson –the pipeline that is supposed to feed the old reservoir to the new reservoir.

“Suggestions were made to TCLM in November 2017 and assistance from the Chamber was offered to perform a modification to have a by-pass system between the Harmony Hill and the Main town pump. The modification was agreed to by Africa Ngomane, the Water & Sanitation Manager of TCLM but this has not yet been formalised,” said Rupert Culwick, SCCT Director, Vice Chairman and portfolio leader for the Ratepayers.

“Richard Salt (representing SCCT) and Dirkie Smit of York have done an enormous amount of work on this in consultation with TCLM to modify the Harmony Hill pump station which has excess capacity. The modifications to the main pump station would allow for the feeding of Engelhard Park / Ext 3 reservoirs and are ready to start as soon as the pipework and pumps can be removed from the old Simile pump station.” Culwick said.

The new pump station feeding Simile has been commissioned with the assistance of Richard Salt and the old station decommissioned. The pumps at that station were to be used to supplement missing pumps at other stations or refurbished and placed into storage as spares, but the Simile residents refused to allow the removal of piping and pumps from the old station. “Captain Gwilym Rees, Chairman and director of SCCT, has written to TCLM requesting their intervention regarding the removal of pipework and pumps. York is standing by with a contractor to do the main pump station modification. This will sort out the major problem experienced in the upper part of town.”

“The relationship between SCCT and TCLM has deteriorated to a point where there will be no further technical meetings held. “The Chamber has bent over backwards to offer assistance to TCLM and only a negative response has been received. We continue to offer them help with no response from their side. Their lack of co-operation is, we suspect, also due to us taking TCLM to court over the Eskom debacle. This whole matter will have to be elevated to a higher level i.e. CoGTA,” Captain Rees said.

“A meeting should have taken place on January 22nd, but SCCT received the response from the Municipal Manager that no further meetings will be held until the relationship between Sabie and TCLM is repaired. This prompted me, together with Daan Seymore (Attorney), to send a lawyer’s letter to TCLM with six examples where the Chamber has offered assistance in projects. No response has been received. Therefore Technical Meetings are cancelled until further notice,” Captain Rees concluded.

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