Maritzburg to plug R30m leak

A multi-million rand project to save water was unveiled by Mike Tarr, the mayor of Msunduzi Municipality, in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

“We have set aside R22.1- million to repair all the leaking reservoirs,” said Tarr.

Water users to be queried

It emerged during the media briefing in Pietermaritzburg that close to half of the water infrastructure in Pietermaritzburg has reached the end of its lifespan.

The budget allocation was expected to see improvement on the financial fortunes of the council which has in the past year experienced cash flow problems.

The money would also be used to investigate all top consumers with the aim of ensuring that their metres remain in good condition.

Replace old metres and pipes

It would also be used to replace old metres and pipes in all parts of the city and surrounding areas, Tarr said.

Wednesday’s announcement comes eight months after the then administrator and the intervention team fingered lack of management of resources, including water, as one of the reasons behind financial problems at Msunduzi which is located in the KwaZulu-Natal capital.

Briefing the media at City Hall, Tarr also confirmed that the municipality was losing over R30-million a year in water alone, with illegal connections as one of the key reasons behind this.

No profit made selling water

Msunduzi buys its water from Umgeni Water — the entity which supplies many of municipalities in the province, but council is unable to generate any revenue out of it.

“We end up on a pretty neutral position without making any profit out of this and it is something that we want to improve on in future,” Tarr explained.

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