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Waging war on water leaks

Written by Noluthando Mkhize
The Ekurhuleni Municipality is pulling the plug on water leaks through its War on Leaks project.

About 43 000 buildings in the municipality are getting free leak tests and water leaks are being repaired as part of the project.

Homes in Tsakane, Langaville and Geluksdal, which have high volumes of water wastage, are benefiting from the project, which is expected to end in January 2016.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Water and Energy Councillor Aubrey Nxumalo said underground pipes and yard connections would be refurbished, sink taps, baths, showers, outdoor taps, and underground pipes fi and water metres installed.

About 27 schools within these areas will also have leaks on the premises repaired.

War on Leaks is an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) project, which provides work opportunities for the locals.

The first phase of the War on Leaks project, which started in November 2013 in Ekurhuleni, has already created 184 jobs.

The second phase, beginning in August this year, will recruit 193 unemployed local community members.

The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs set aside a R10 million grant for the War on Leaks project.

At the launch of the project, the then Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Rejoice Mabudafhasi, who is now the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, appealed to all South Africans not to waste water.

“I would like to encourage all South Africans to focus on the need to restore and preserve the integrity of this most precious resource, water. “South Africans must take responsibility to make sure this scarce resource is managed in an effective and sustainable manner.”

She added that South Africa was ranked among the 30 water scarce countries in the world with annual rainfall levels about half of the world’s average.

“We are losing 37 per cent of water annually through leaks which translates to R7 billion per year,” she stressed.

The Deputy Minister said the aim of the project was to fix the leaks in households, hospitals, clinics, and schools and create awareness about saving water.

Ekurhuleni is not the fi municipality to implement the War on Leaks Programme as it was piloted in Mogale City, also in Gauteng, in 2010.

“It was very successful as the water loss was reduced drastically and they are still implementing it,” she added.