“This outage started on Monday, 23 February and is planned to end on 9 March 2015,” spokesman Sputnik Ratau said in a statement.
“All prior preparations in this regard have led to a smooth start and operation of the outage over the past few days of the first week.”
The department was performing maintenance work on the pipeline, installing new valves and replacing leaking pipes with new ones as Eskom was busy with the construction of a railway line from Ermelo to Majuba power station.
The railway line crosses the department’s pipeline between Rietspruit reservoir and Davel.
“Eskom therefore requested a [department] outage to tie in with the permanent deviation of the pipeline to the existing structure as per [department] approved design,” Ratau said.
“The deviation of the structure has been approved by the [department] engineers and the [department] engineers are involved with the quality control during the construction phase.”
The department and Emalahleni local municipality were supplying water to the area through strategically placed tanks within a reasonable distance.
“The department is confident in the capacity of its workforce engaged in this task and that the work will be completed within the time targeted,” Ratau said.
“The work that has already happened gives the department the full confidence that all care is being taken to ensure there are no glitches and the work has demonstrated how single-mindedness of purpose can achieve a lot.”
The department and all stakeholders requested patience and cooperation from all who were affected so that the planned outage period was not exceeded.
The department apologised for the inconvenience caused, but the planned outage was important for maintenance and sustainability of the infrastructure, he said.