The Executive Mayor of Rustenburg Local Municipality, Councillor Mpho Khunou, has for the last couple of months been actively engaging the ministry of Water and Sanitation over the water demand challenges currently experienced by residents of Rustenburg. To this extent the Municipality has taken proactive steps in addressing the matter, by meeting the Deputy Minister Hon. David Mahlobo together with the leadership collective of Magalies Water in a bid to resolve this challenge.
While there has not been much tangible progress on the matter, after the Executive Mayor also met with the entity’s CEO the RLM escalated the matter to the Minister Hon. Lindiwe Sisulu as well as informing the Premier of the province and MEC responsible for local government, to keep them abreast of the prevailing situation.
The Municipality in its endeavour to find a lasting solution to the current challenges, has met with the Magalies Water leadership on Friday. The Municipality previously raised concerns about the poor water quality which was been provided by Magalies Water. This has been reported to have been caused by algal concentration in the raw water. This has affected water production greatly, as stringent water treatment processes need to be undertaken to ensure clean portable water, thus affecting supply which will match the demand of the RLM.
This has continued to affect residents’ ability to receive water as should be expected, as the water service provider has had to implement water demand management, by implementing rationing water supply, which has had adverse effects on the RLM areas services by the entity. In addition to the above challenges, Magalies Water through the Vaalkop Water Treatment Works has been operating at 50% due to internal maintenance challenges.
Magalies Water have indicated to have developed a maintenance plan, which will address the capacity related issues while ensuring that during the first week of December the maintenance backlog would have been resolved with the system anticipated to be operating at full capacity.
While the water service provider undertakes to ensure that there is a lasting solution to the significantly reduced water supply, which has affected our residents negatively especially in high-lying areas, Magalies Water has cautioned that water rationing remains the most effective temporary solution. This will ensure that all of its bulk water consumers including Rustenburg Local Municipality will receive equitable water distribution in the system albeit at reduced water production rates.
The RLM continues to be greatly inconvenienced as residents and businesses which are critical to the economy of Rustenburg are not able to receive the required water demand. As at 30 November 2020, most of the reservoir levels were recorded at below 50%, which is worrying as there is no provision for reserve spare water capacity, which will be used in case of emergencies or depleted water levels.
With Covid-19 still a reality, the RLM remains concerned about the unavailability water and the health risks it poses for the people of Rustenburg. We will continue to monitor the situation, against the commitments which have been formally made by Magalies Water and update residents on the developments.