‘Eastern Province water security at risk’

Bay firm sues over dam maintenance contract

As drought and ailing urban infrastructure continue to threaten water supply in the Eastern Cape, claims have surfaced that significant volumes of the critical resource are being lost through maintenance backlogs on systems leading directly from the province’s dams.

The alleged water losses are over and above the well-publicised losses experienced through faulty municipal infrastructure – which, in Nelson Mandela Bay, were pegged at about 40% in March.

They have come to light as a Bay water engineering company launches litigation against the Department of Water and Sanitation.

But the department, which owns and operates 96 dams around the province, this week denied there were any significant losses close to dam water sources.

It drew distinctions between water delivery infrastructure it manages and infrastructure managed by municipalities, saying it could not account for municipal water losses.

Perseverance-based specialist water engineering firm Spec (Surface Preparations Equipment and Coatings) has had comprehensive exposure to the province’s dams since 2011 through what it asserts is an unfulfilled tender to the value of about R250-million for their maintenance.

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