Mayor Khunou, Intensifies Weekly Inspection to Ascertain Service Delivery Challenges 

Responding to the call, for a more intensified approach towards service delivery in Rustenburg, the City’s first resident hit the streets to make an assessment of the service delivery standards and to have a first-hand account of the challenges experienced daily by residents. The Executive Mayor, accompanied by the Municipal Manager and the Council’s Single Whip in tow, were in Tlhabane to conduct a walk-about and ascertain the impact of service delivery.
Part of the visit to Tlhabane included an ally in Lebone street which has been identified as a crime spot where unsuspecting residents and pedestrians fall victims to criminal elements who are taking advantage of the over grown grass as well as the boundary walls which make it difficult for house owners to monitor activity of passers-by. The Executive Mayor, said the recent rains have not made it easy for the Community Development Directorate to deal with the general cleaning of the City “while we appreciate the inclement weather of the last few weeks has put us on the back foot, the Municipality will ensure that areas which may attract criminal elements are dealt with” said Mayor Khunou.
Cllr Levy Mokwele, said the community had implored on him to bring about a more permanent solution, which will ensure that while the community makes use of the ally, it becomes difficult for criminal elements to operate there. The second part of the inspection focused on the water leaks pipe bursts which have been frequent in the CBD. During this particular inspection, the Member of the Mayoral Committee on Technical and Infrastructure Services MMC Michael
Mhlungu was present. Present also was the manager for water services as well as the new appointed consulting engineers who have been tasked with the responsibility of addressing water leaks, upgrading of pump stations within the water infrastructure network as well as developing a more efficient water demand management plan, which will see Rustenburg reduce water losses.
Reacting to the process, which will address the long standing challenges the Municipal Manager said, the municipality always took the grievances of the community to heart “we are pleased that we are not performing an inspection to see the extent to which the challenges we have affect residents, but we have the relevant expertise with us to appreciate the enormity of the task ahead. In the next couple of months, the consulting engineers and the appointed engineering contractor will be focusing on the water related challenges we have. As a City we felt that water should not be generalized with other service delivery problems, as it has a constitutional bearing. We are hopeful that at the end of the process, which primarily will focus on increasing capacity for water demand management as well as improving efficiencies, our communities will see the difference” remarked the Municipal Manager.
Councillor Aubrey Rootman said, the businesses which are situated along the busy Nelson Mandela Drive and adjacent streets had suffered greatly, due to the water cuts which had to be effected, to allow the municipal water teams to carry out repairs. In recent months, the stretch of bulk line between Steen and Boom streets had burst on numerous occasions due to the pressure built-up and the engineers will commence work soon, which will include a replacement of the AC pipe which is no longer in a good condition, given the number of reported pipe bursts.

Geelhout, Tlhabane West, Zinniaville and Rustenburg North to Experience Water Supply Interruptions

Residents are hereby informed that due to internal operational challenges at the Bospoort Water Treatment Works (BWTW) managed by the Water and Sanitation Servicers South Africa (WSSA) the supply of water to Rustenburg has been reduced to 60%.
The following areas will experience water supply interruptions:
  • Geelhout
  • Parts of Tlhabane West
  • Zinniaville
  • Rustenburg North
This will have a negative effect on the supply of water to the industrial reservoir and consequently water supply to residents will be severely constrained. Further to that, with the reduced allowance for water supply, the Municipality will not be able to ensure provision of water to residents at the desired quantity.
The Municipality is continuously engaging WSSA to improve on the current water supply quota which will ensure that when supply is increased from the 6ml/d to 12ml/d to meet the demand, this will avert the unintended consequences of water cuts. While the Municipality regrets these developments, residents are reminded that the RLM continues to fulfil its financial obligations to water service providers and issues regarding capacity, are beyond the authority of the Municipality as a customer with a contractual agreement. Residents are further advised that the above mentioned areas will be restricted from 18:00 to 06:00am to raise the level of industrial reservoirs. Further updates in this respect will be communicated in due course as the Municipality will be monitoring closely the situation.
We apologize to residents, for the inconvenience that this may cause.

Greater Boitekong, Tlhabane West and Geelhout Park Water Supply Interruptions Concern Mayor Khunou Gravely

The ongoing water supply interruptions which have been plaguing parts of Rustenburg such as Tlhabane, Tlhabane West among other areas are a growing concern to the Executive Mayor of Rustenburg. The City, has been working around the clock for a number of months to resolve the water supply issue, which has adversely affected the residents’ way of life. The Municipality in the last two years, has spent a sizeable portion of its budget to address the water supply interruptions which had become too frequent and a great inconvenience.
Earlier today, the Executive Mayor accompanied by the Municipal Manager convened an extraordinary service delivery meeting which focused on the challenges regarding water supply part of Rustenburg, to gain better insight into the water supply challenges, even after the RLM rolled-out an AC pipe replacement project in late 2018, which had intended to deal the the ageing infrastructure as well as improve water reticulation efficiencies.
In his opening remarks, which was attended by the senior management of the Technical and Infrastructure Services Directorate as well as the Council’s Single Whip – Councillor Levy Mokwele and Ward Councillors Latelang Nkgoang and Kabelo Mokotedi were part of the meeting to make known the concerns of their different constituencies who bore the brunt of the water supply challenges to their homestead. The Municipality, has been working hard to increase the system’s capacity to deal with their high water consumption by also commissioning new water supply lines, and these efforts have not yielded the desired results.  “Over two years ago, following the many complaints which of course are legitimate the Municipality has set some funds aside to deal with the water supply issues, and it is regrettable that regardless of the interventions which have been put in place, very little has been achieved in an attempt to resolve the water issue. We need to dig deep and conduct a thorough audit of all the work which has been done, and to ensure that we have the best expertise contracted to assist the municipality as our people cannot go on further like this” Mayor Khunou said.
Councillors highlighted that the interruptions have reached alarming levels and residents are now more interested in a long-lasting solution, over the communication issued by the Municipality on the technical/operational challenges which are being experienced, causing the water supply interruptions. The deliberations in the meeting, established the following issues which continue to contribute to the ongoing water supply issues:
  • Greater Boitekong, Tlhabane, Tlhabane West and Geelhout Park are supplied from the
Vaalkop system, which currently is unable to stabilize to ensure continued water supply.
  • The system continues to experience interruptions which are beyond the RLM’s operational capabilities to address such as poorer water quality which forces the water supply cuts, in order to refill the system with an improved water quality
  • Most of the water infrastructure on the Magalies Water supply line operated by the Municipality uses gravitational forces and accumulated water pressure within the system for sufficient water flow to the reservoirs and ultimately residential areas, to ensure access to water
  • Further, RLM draws water from the same system which other commercial customers to Magalies Water have been permitted to get their water. The implication on the usage of pump stations by other customers and use of gravitational forces to draw water by the Municipality, puts the RLM at a disadvantage for the required daily supply.
  • The water team has identified, that water demand in the City continues to outstrip the current supply due to the size of diameter pipes, some of which when continually pressured burst, given the age and resistance.
  • Water Supply to Rustenburg due to scheduled and unscheduled repairs and maintenance on the side of the water service provider.
  • Greater Boitekong, has a high number of water leakages, which contributes to the City’s water losses and decreased water pressure within the system, which results in some of the high lying areas not receiving water, due to the reduced pressure which disables the required flow for high located reservoirs and residential areas.
The Municipality, having noted all the challenges, has moved swiftly to appoint a service provider – water engineering contractor and consulting engineers, to address the sources of the identified challenges. The appointed service provider will undertake the following tasks in resolving the challenges experienced by the Municipality:
  • Water Augmentation
  • Pressure Management
  • Bulk Metering
  • Air Valve Replacement
  • Pump Station upgrading maintenance
  • Repair of Leaks
  • Pipe Replacements
The Municipal Manager – Mr. Victor Makona said, it is concerning that to this point, the Municipality has not yet realized the results of an improved water system. “we will be keeping a close eye on the project, which aims to address to all of the challenges and we appreciate the efforts of our Councillor of ensuring that their constituencies are well informed of the situation on the ground. We will be monitoring the work of the contractor and engineers to ensure we derive value for money” Mr. Makona said.
The project intends to increase the capacity of the City’s pump stations, therefore by ensuring that sufficient water is pumped into the reservoirs to meet the end-user consumption demands therefore, addressing the implementation of more frequent water cuts to allow for the system to accumulate enough water for use by residents.
The project will additionally focus on the water leaks, which are more prevalent in Greater Boitekong, which will reduce substantially the water losses on the side of the Municipality as well as reduces water pressure in the system created by the leaks. The Executive Mayor, said it was critical that the DTIS develops a plan, which will address water related challenges in other parts of the City, as the RLM will have full control and authority over the water infrastructure and therefore, the use of engineers should not blind the Municipality from it permanent responsibility.

Mayor Khunou, Remains Concerned Over Covid-19 Non-Compliance, Albeit A Reduced Daily Infection Rate

The Executive Mayor of Rustenburg, Councillor Mpho Khunou expressed concern during the City’s bi-weekly Intergovernmental Relations Forum (IGR Forum) virtual meeting on Covid-19 which he chairs. The Mayor said, while evidence shows that the efforts which have been led by the department of health, were yielding positive results in containing the spread of the virus, much still needed to be done to re-educate the public on the dangers of Covid-19 and the envisaged third wave.
The Executive Mayor said it was worrying that people went on about wearing face masks inappropriately or not having any masks at all “we know that face masks, cause some level of discomfort because it is not something we are not used to. Despite that we should at all times play our part, and not be complacent, the numbers may be going down, but Covid-19 still roams among us and continues to leave a trail of heartbreak and pain among those who had to bury their loved ones. We must not be suffering from Covid-19 fatigue; we have more to lose than we think” Mayor Khunou remarked.
Mayor Khunou’s comments follow an operation which was led by the City’s Public Safety Directorate where inspections were conducted in businesses in the CBD, government buildings as well as the various mining operations around Rustenburg. The inspections, which were conducted at Home Affairs, Post Office, Shoprite, and at one Impala’s operations pointed out numerous non-compliance issues such as the snaking queues outside premises, with inadequate spaces in between persons as required by the regulations.
SASSA’s operation continues to be of concern as many people go to the offices, to access various services including Covid-19 relief funds. The organization has indicated despite the Covid-19 health and safety measures put in place, the reluctance by some of the members of the public to adhere to social distancing and wearing masks correctly is a cause for concern.
By the end of yesterday evening, Rustenburg had recorded a total of 18351 with about 17091 cases which have been confirmed as recoveries. The case management in the City accounts for over 30% percent of the total cases recorded in the North West Province to date and makes Rustenburg the provincial hotspot. The department of Health in the sub-district noted that although numbers were significantly lower as compared to the previous weeks, the virus was still prevalent, as all of the City’s 45 wards recorded Covid-19 cases.
Further to that, it continues to concern the department, that there is no change in the data collated in respect of the areas which have been identified as hotspots, where numerous Covid-19 non-compliance has been identified. The areas which continue to rank as high Covid-19 hotspots are Freedom Park, Phokeng, Rustenburg CBD, Marikina, Sunrise, Ramochana, Tlhabane West, Boitekong, Geelhout Park, Waterfall East, Mfidikwe, Luka, Kanana and Chaneng.
The mining sector has shown great improvement in respect of the number of recoveries of the virus. The health interventions which have been put in place, have ensured that the number of recorded cases remain low while recoveries continue to dominate. This is remarkable as the economy, requires all of its workforce in good health in ensuring that Rustenburg’s growth continues, despite the challenge the Covid-19 has brought upon the city.
With schools set to reopen from Monday, the law enforcement agencies will be out to ensure compliance to wearing of masks, which is a punishable offense that carries a jail time of up to six (6) months imprisonment or a payment of a fine.   The operation intends to target Rustenburg town and all public areas which include the bus and taxi terminus to ascertain if there is general compliance as required by law. The Education Department has indicated that all systems have been put in place and there are no anticipated disruptions in the resumption of the academic year, given the time lost already, due to the forced shutdown at the height of the second wave.