Joburg Water sets aside R1bn to tackle ageing infrastructure

Joburg Water sets aside R1bn to tackle ageing infrastructure

An old pipe breaks in freezing weather | Image: istockphoto.com

The aim is to lessen water losses and minimise the inconvenience of water interruptions for customers.

Joburg Water, which manages over 12,000km of the water distribution network in the City of Johannesburg, plans to spend over R1.2 billion to replace ageing water infrastructure over the next three years.

The entity implemented a pipe-replacement programme over the past five years to improve service delivery and by the end of June 2017, 499km of water pipe was replaced.

Now more areas are being identified, with the aim being to replace a further 599km of old water pipes.

Joburg Water has an infrastructure renewal backlog of R5.8 billion and it will invest R12.65 billion in the next 10 years to replace critical assets that require refurbishment or replacement.

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The aim of replacing these pipes is to reduce burst frequencies, which will lessen water losses and minimise the inconvenience of water interruptions for customers.

Joburg Water will be investing in all seven of the regions to achieve renewed annual targets of replacing ageing infrastructure.

Among their annual targets is 66 water pipe-replacement projects in all seven regions of the city; undertaking retrofitting (reducing water leakages in properties) to the value of R300 million for indigent families in areas of Soweto, Orange Farm, Alexandra and Cosmo City; as well as the refurbishment of existing Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV) chambers where it is estimated that about 50% of those inspected to date were not operating correctly.

It is expected that the implementation of this project will yield a total saving of 658 kl/day post-intervention within the four newly implemented PRV zones.

In the Lenasia Water supply zones, the following initiatives are currently under construction that will benefit communities and improve service delivery by ensuring sustainable services.

  • Six water pipe replacement projects
  • Pump station under construction
  • Water reservoir under design
  • Water rising main pipeline under procurement

The progress on the water pipe replacement programme was negatively impacted by the delay caused by the work stoppages resulting from community disruptions, due to misconceptions around work allocation to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and use of local labour as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

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