A joint operation by all spheres of government has helped to avert a major crisis, where part of the Middle Lake Dam in Benoni caved in last month.

Mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni, Mzwandile Masina, put together a Joint Operations Committee (JOC) following the collapse to help avoid the possible loss of lives and serious damage to infrastructure.

The roads around the Middle Lake Dam, including on and off-ramps to N12 via Tom Jones Road and Bunyan Street remain closed whilst the operation is still underway.

Committee successfully managed to divert the water at the onset, then moved on to deploy 11 suction pumps into operation to reduce the dam level in an effort to avoid further erosion on the exposed downstream face of the spillway.

Full refurbishment to take place

The lower dam level is also expected to assist engineers to access the damaged slab for repairs. Government notes that while this is a temporary measure, the complete refurbishment of the spillway will take a number of months.

Masina is pleading for patience from all parties: “This is a necessary operation to avert a major disaster. We are calling on people of Ekurhuleni to exercise caution and be patient. Once the siphon suction pumps are in place, road usage will resume”.

The mayor has also asked members of the public to steer clear of the operational area, as this can pose danger to them and impede officials on site and disrupt operations.