Ready to Mitigate Possible Impact of Eskom Loadshedding on Service Delivery

Not only does Eskom’s persistent loadshedding disrupt people’s daily lives, but it is also threatening to have a detrimental impact on municipal infrastructure, budgets, and service delivery. Drakenstein Municipality has a comprehensive contingency plan in place to mitigate any possible service delivery disruptions due to Eskom loadshedding, as well as to safeguard municipal infrastructure. Alderman Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality, has assured residents that their service needs always take precedence. “The Municipality has prepared and implemented plans and programmes to keep services such as water provision, waste- water treatment, sewage disposal, refuse collection, and traffic control running with the least possible hiccups – despite the challenges posed by Eskom loadshedding,” he confirmed. Technical teams repair electricity infrastructure that breaks down due to high stages of loadshedding as quickly as possible. The Municipality and its dedicated cable theft unit are also making strides in its fight against cable theft – an activity that soars during power outages – as more and more culprits are being arrested and prosecuted for this crime in Drakenstein. Water and sanitation services “Our residents can rest assured that water provision will not be impacted by high-stage Eskom loadshedding,” says Alderman Poole. Drakenstein finds itself in a favourable position thanks to its unique topography. Situated in a

valley surrounded by mountains, there are few areas that require electrical pumps to convey water from point A to B; in most areas, water gravitates through the network to consumers and reservoirs. The areas that do require pump systems are already equipped with backup generators, and mobile generators can also be utilised if required. The Municipality’s reservoirs are designed to cater for at least 48 hours of storage capacity in the event of any breakdown in bulk supply. Should Eskom implement Stage 7 loadshedding or higher, a drop in water pressure may be experienced in some areas; however, in such an event the Municipality will communicate with its residents and share tips on how to reduce the pressure on the water networks. Drakenstein’s geographical location also favours the Municipality’s sewage transport system, as most sewer flow gravitates towards the wastewater treatment facilities. All the Municipality’s sewage pump stations’ sumps are designed to cater for at least four hours’ flow without electricity, before overflowing. Sewer pump stations are also prioritised to ensure that the Municipality keep a close

watch on those that could potentially cause environmental damage should they overflow, and attend to them first.

Towards the end of last year, National Treasury awarded Drakenstein Municipality a Budget Facility for Infrastructure (BFI) grant of R1.4 billion over the next three financial years. The Municipality will spend these funds on wastewater and bulk sanitation upgrades


VARS | February

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