Drought tightens its grip on Makhanda

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Dear Residents
The severity of the ongoing drought conditions mean that the dam levels on the western side of Makhanda, namely, Settlers, Jameson, Milner and Howiesons Poort, have dropped below abstraction point. Supply to the Makhanda system is now wholly dependent on the small amount (0.5 megalitres a day) of water provided by the newly connected boreholes and the 13ML/day of water that is produced at the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works.

As a city we need 18 megalitres a day. In order to maintain equitable levels across all the city’s reservoirs, it has become necessary to implement water rationing. Phase one rationing was implemented in the beginning of September.

Phase One means no Sunday supply. This has proved an effective measure in allowing reservoir level to recover enough to supply for the first part of the following week.

Please be informed that we have now commenced with Phase 2 of water rationing.

Phase Two means no Sunday water supply and the supply during the rest of the week is restricted to between 6am and 6pm daily.

Phase Three means No Sunday supply, No Wednesday supply and supply restricted
to between 6am and 6pm daily.

The implementation of escalating phases will be communicated to the community through existing channels.These measures are designed to assist with managing water supply but will not completely alleviate problems of low to no pressure which significantly affect the following areas serviced from the high level and the Mayfield Reservoir:

  • Xolani
  • Tantyi
  • Mary Waters
  • Industrial Area
  • Hill 60
  • Cradock Heights
  • Spencer Chapman
  • Sunnyside
  • Hills View

We plead with the community to continue to use water sparingly and that residents must adhere to the restriction of 25 litres per person per day to a maximum of four people per household.

I would like to assure residents that work is being done to upgrade the capacity of the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works, despite the challenges that are posed by the drought. The contractor is currently busy with Phase 2 of the implementation of this project.

Once the upgrade is completed, we will no longer have water challenges. With that said, we need rain – and lots of it – so that our supply dams on the Western side can fill up and alleviate pressure on the James Kleynhans scheme.

We would like to thank everyone who is making an effort to save water and those who tirelessly report leaks. On our side as the municipality we shall make every effort to attend to the reported leaks as quickly as possible.

The plan is to increase the capacity of the James Kleynhans plant, which draws water from the Orange River via the Fish River, in order to meet the city’s needs. The water is stored in Glen Melville Dam. The upgrades will double the production output from the plant there (the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works) from 10 megalitres to 20 megalitres. This upgrade is scheduled to be completed in June 2021.

Honourable Executive Mayor Councillor Mzukisi Mpahlwa

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