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Joburg water has intensified efforts to repair aging and obsolete infrastructure in Soweto, Orange Farm and Alexandra in a bid to reduce water losses due to leaks.

The entity lost about 38 percent of its bulk supply in 2019 due to damaged infrastructure (burst pipes), prompting the City to deploy technicians to replace old pipes with new ones.

The entity’s Chief Operations Officer (COO), Derrick Kgwale says the Pipes Replacement Programme is currently underway across Johannesburg and will see the substitution of all damaged water pipes.

“There is a lot of water leaks and wastage in areas such as Soweto, Orange Farm and Alexandra. We have rolled out a programme to repair those leaks to minimise water that goes to waste,” Kgwale explains.

Joburg Water has more than 10 000 kilometres of distribution pipes providing water across the City.

Kgwale says the entity is will ensure its electro-mechanical maintenance department’s 33 water towers, 87 reservoirs and pump stations have a 48 hour water storage capacity to limit supply interruptions for residents when maintenance is conducted.

The entity appeals to all residents to use water sparingly, cognisant of level one restrictions.

Despite challenges with which the entity is faced, it is still able to issue correct water bills, conduct maintenance of its infrastructure on time and continue the uninterrupted supply to residents, says the COO.

As a municipal-owned entity, Joburg Water is responsible for providing clean, safe and healthy water and sanitation to all residents of the City. The company has an annual turnover of more than R1-billion, and is run on standardised global business practices.

The entity recently scooped three accolades at the Rand Water Forum awards, recognised for its operations, the maintenance of its systems and for being the best metropolitan entity.

“The organisation is proud and happy about this achievement. These awards inspire us to work even harder to make sure that we give Joburg residents a world class service,” says Kgwale.

Joburg Water boasts an operating budget of R11.5 billion for the 2019/20 financial year, with a three-year capital budget of R3.2 billion. Some of its key projects include the upgrading of water infrastructure, construction of reservoirs, renewal and maintenance of existing water infrastructure, water demand management and the renewal of bulk waste treatment plants.

Written by Takalani Sioga