A total of R7 billion will be spent upgrading the Ekurhuleni Municipality’s water infrastructure which will include the construction of new reservoirs – and the installation of an early warning system to help mitigate any drama stemming from a water disruption.

This follows the recent collapse of water services in the metro which saw it using tankers to transport water to ease the burden felt by residents.

If the municipality gets the green light to implement the plan it will mean that Ekurhuleni will become only the third municipality in SA to have a telemetric water system with synchronised reservoirs effectively allowing the municipality to direct water between reservoirs in accordance with demand.

The plan envisages the construction of 20 reservoirs by the year 2021 to supplement its existing71 reservoirs, several of which are ageing and will have reached the end of their life cycle within the next five to seven years. The new reservoirs, if built, will be located in Benoni, Brakpan and Kempton Park, among other areas, each with a capital cost of around R200 million. It has been reported that the metro will consider various sources of funding that include; the Treasury; provincial government; extracting funds from its own revenue; and tapping municipal loan facilities and bond markets.

The metro has explained that the new reservoirs will address ageing infrastructure and increased demand which is being driven population growth as a result of urbanisation as well as the pending amalgamation of Lesedi local municipality into Ekurhuleni.