Maintenance water cuts persist; restrictions on hold

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Mangaung Metro Municipality spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, explained that winter maintenance includes the cleaning of a balancing dam and installation of a chlorine booster system among other things.

Parts of Bloemfontein will still be affected by water cuts caused by Bloem Water’s maintenance programme. This is according to Mangaung Metro Municipality spokesperson Qondile Khedama. The cuts are taking place as the possibility of a municipal wide water supply restriction hangs in the balance.

The Metro has been served with a 30-day notice of intention to restrict water due to non-payment by Bloem Water. This after the Free State High Court ordered the Water Board to return supply to normal pressure on Tuesday.

According to spokesperson Kido Thoabala, restrictions will happen again if the Metro fails to pay its current account. “This would then mean that water will be restricted on the 17th of August 2019 should the status on non-payment persist,” she said.
The High Court ruled in favour of Mangaung Metro Municipality that the notice to restrict water should be done in accordance with the Water Services Act. “According to Bloem Water, the notice that had already been given previously, supposedly served as a valid notice. However, the court did not agree,” added Kido.

Residents had to cope with low water supply when Courant reported on its website that water pressure had been reduced to 30% on Monday. However, some areas continue to have to go on without running taps. According to Khedama, this is due to an annual scheduled winter maintenance programme that is taking place and that will continue until August 2019. “This is an operational programme with the purpose of ensuring that we provide quality water to the community of Mangaung at all times. During this operation, there could be shutdowns and restricted water supply to communities,” he said.

Affected areas include Pellissier, Lourier Park, Bloemspruit, Heidedal, Uitsig, Gardenia Park, Fauna, Universitas and a part of Langenhoven Park among others. Water tankers will be provided by the Metro when areas are affected during this maintenance period.
On the other hand, residents are awaiting a resolution between Bloem Water and the Metro as a number of restrictions have taken place this year. Mangaung announced that a payment of almost R30 million was made to the water board last week, while Bloem Water stated that restrictions are persisting due to non-payment.

“As Mangaung Metro we will continue to seek a lasting solution in the interest of the Mangaung community,” stated Khedama.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele
nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za