The Department of Water and Sanitation says it is looking into several issues surrounding the non-performance of the Sebokeng Sewer Scheme and proper planning towards their resolution is being put in place.

This includes on-going engagement with the local community to update them on progress and the importance of the scheme working in an effort to void any further blockages on site.

“In order to ensure the security of this very important infrastructure, Minister Nkwinti has taken a decision to approach the President so as to declare the SRSS a national key point. This will lead to not just heightened security around the facility but its operations not being interrupted by civil strife.”

Ineffective operation and maintenance

One of the major issues according to the department has been the ineffective operation and maintenance of the plant by the Emfuleni Municipality.

Sputnik Ratau DWS spokesperson says the department recently issued five notices and six directives to the Emfuleni Municipality, in relation to the sewage spillages along the Sedibeng sewer scheme.

“The operations and maintenance of any infrastructure is critical as it determines the kind of effluent that is derived from it and its impact not just on the water courses but on the environment as well,” the department notes.

Additional funding

Ratau adds that the department is also looking at finding additional funding for operations and maintenance to complete the construction of Module 6 and complete the upgrade of Modules 1 – 5, which are not operating at full capacity. All of this will lead to the next stage of the construction and commissioning of Module 7 in time.

“Whilst the technical work is envisaged to go full steam ahead, this has to be supported by the requisite political and institutional solutions within the affected municipalities.

“What is needed is that whether there is a change of the political guard or not, the basic requirements of infrastructure development and that which is in place should not be compromised,” the department concludes.