Suikerbosrand reserve to open, but no certainty on water supply

By Ina Cilliers MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Infrastructure Development:

It is still uncertain if adequate water supply has been restored to the Suikerbosrand nature reserve which is due to open its gates to the public on Wednesday 15 July 2015.

The reserve has been closed to the public for the past five months as a result of a burst pipe, leaving it without water.

This despite the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) spending millions of rands to address the problem.

Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, indicated in a written reply that at the end of the previous financial year, the department had budgeted over R26,3 million on water infrastructure for the nature reserve.

Despite this, the upgrades to both the northern and southern water lines remain incomplete.

The MEC indicated that delays to the northern line was due to poor performance by service providers and a breakdown in the relationship between the departmental professional team and the contractor.

This line was due for completion by the end of March 2015.

However, of the R 17.1 million allocated for the northern line – at least R3.2 million still needed to be spent on cleaning and disinfecting the new reservoir and pipeline, the installation of telemetry systems and increasing the booster pump house electricity supply.

Completion of the southern water line – also expected at the end of the financial year, was in a far worse state.

By the third week of March 2015, the department had only managed to spend R2.2 million of the R9.1 million budget allocated to this project.

I will write to MEC Mayathula-Khoza as a matter of urgency to ascertain if these issues have been resolved. If they have not, the health and safety of visitors to the reserve will be placed at serious risk.