Department ensures progress in Giyani water project

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has reassured the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that it is fast-tracking intervention measures in Giyani to resolve the long-standing water challenges in the area.

Department Acting Director-General, Xolani Zwane, was speaking during an oversight visit to water projects in Limpopo.

Scopa, accompanied by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) and officials from the Office of the Auditor-General, visited the province to assess the state of water projects in Giyani.

Briefing the committee, Zwane acknowledged that there have been delays in resolving water issues in Giyani villages, and that the delays could have been avoided had things been done according to the book from the onset.

He said the department, together with its entity, Lepelle Northern Water, are fully cooperating with law enforcement agencies to bring to book all those found to be involved in the maleficence that has deprived the people of Giyani of basic water service.

“With the intervention of Minister Senzo Mchunu, we are beginning to see progress in our intervention projects and finally we can even talk of milestones at this point in time. However, for as long as people are still without water, we have got our work cut out to resolve this as a matter of urgency,” Zwane said.

DWS’ Limpopo Provincial Head, Lucy Kobe, presented to the committee the amount of work done to date, and assured that the 40 kilometre raw water pipeline from Nandoni to Nsami Dam will be finalised at the end of April 2023.

The pipeline will deliver water to Giyani Water Treatment Plant, to augment water deficiencies in Giyani.

Kobe announced that the work on the pipeline is currently at 71%.

“The 40 kilometre pipeline is completed, and the remaining works is the river crossings, chambers and pressure testing which is now at 26 kilometres. Temporary connections on river crossings are done to functionalise the system by mid-April 2023, whilst construction of permanent structures [is] in progress.

“Installation of raw water pumps are in progress [and] to be completed on 30 April 2023. Mobile pumps are provided to fill the pipeline and test the system, whilst installation of permanent pumps is in progress,” Kobe said.

The department also reported that the refurbishment of 30 ml/d (megalitres of water per day) Giyani Water Treatment Plant is underway to make it function optimally.

The plant is currently treating 17 ml/d from Middle Letaba Dam and does not meet water demands of the villages.

The department reported that the refurbishment of the plant is expected to be completed in December 2023, and work to increase the capacity of the plant by 10 ml/d to 40 ml/d is set to commence in April 2024.

The department, joined by Lepelle Northern Water, an implementing agent and Mopani District Municipality, also led the committee on various site visits along the Nandoni-Nsami pipeline – starting from Nandoni Dam as the source, and stops at Xikukwani Village where the bulk raw water pipeline ends and connect to the pipe and water canal coming from Middle Letaba.

The entourage then proceeded to Mbabeni, Ngobe and Homu villages, where a contractor has been appointed and work has already started to lay pipes for the new project introduced by Mchunu to deal with reticulation.

This is part of the Minister’s intervention to fast track the project to ensure that people access water in their households as soon as possible.

The department is assisting the district municipality to expedite the reticulation to ensure that when the project is complete, all identified villages receive water in their homes.

Source: South African Government News Agency