Cape Town – The city says it will have to rebuild the Site B sewage pumping station after it was severely vandalized. It is estimated that it will cost R 6 million to rebuild.
The pumping station is one of 25 sewage pumping stations that the city said either did not work or had to work with borrowed or mobile pumps.
Other sewage pumping stations that have been affected are at Heinz Park, Philippi West, Wallacedene, Crammix in Brackenfell, Tambo Street in Gugulethu, Crossroads, Area L in Mitchells Plain and Paarden Eiland.
Xanthea Limberg, a member of the mayor’s committee for water and waste, said the city cannot tolerate the actions of opportunistic criminals whose selfish and destructive acts have a direct impact on the delivery of services to residents.
Limberg said in some cases even fences or on-site security guards didn’t deter vandals – they broke a fence or stole it.
“The City does not have an unlimited budget and the damage caused by vandalism takes a heavy toll on our resources. The City’s Water and Sanitation team is constantly working to ensure that the pumping stations are operating at the highest possible capacity.
“In addition, operational teams are monitoring areas and continue to clear sewer obstructions, which cause overflows, and will continue to do so with the aim of minimizing the impact on residents,” she said.
Site B ward councilor Monde Nqulwana said the Khayelitsha sewage pumping stations were overlooked by the city. He said the community was lucky that no major blockages were caused as a result.
“Our communities have aging infrastructure and there has been no major maintenance of the pipes except to unblock them. Our concern is that vandalism is happening because everything now, even unnecessary things packed in one place, are being stolen without knowing their value. These sewage treatment plants have value to the community and, when functioning efficiently, blockages are minimal.
“There used to be security at some stations, but the City is reducing all costs and that results in these acts of vandalism,” he said.
Sub-council 9 chairman Xolani Sotashe said the city must be committed to protecting facilities brought into communities.
“You can’t come into a community, build a facility and leave without having a plan to protect it. When people start to feel like they own these facilities, it makes their lives easier. The City must have partnerships with the community and get people in the community to take care of them, ”he said.
The City urges anyone with information regarding incidents of vandalism to report them to the police.