City ramps up investment to help protect sewer pump stations

28 Jul 2023 in Where We Govern

The City’s Water and Sanitation Directorate has been increasing its investment in refurbishing and upgrading security measures at sewer pump stations to help safeguard these vital facilities from theft and vandalism to ensure they continue to service communities and reduce the risk of sewer overflows. Read more below:

What to know about sewer (or wastewater) pump stations:

  • 487 sewer pump stations are an important part of the sewer network that also includes more than 9 266km of sewer pipes and 23 Wastewater Treatment Works.
  • The majority of the sewer system works on gravity, but in cases where the sewage must flow uphill, pump stations maintain the flow to wastewater treatment plants.
  • They need to be protected because when sewer pump stations are vandalised or equipment is stolen, they cannot operate properly, or not at all, and this causes sewer spills.



Over this new financial year, the City is planning to invest R123 million on upgrades/refurbishment of sewer pump stations in various areas across Cape Town. This includes about 10 planned routine pump station upgrades and the Pump Station Security Upgrade programme that will benefit 39 sites with the addition of reinforced steel doors, concrete walls, CCTV cameras and security personnel among others.

‘Sewer pump stations play an extremely vital role in conveying sewage from properties to the wastewater treatment works but sadly have increasingly become targets of vandalism and equipment being stolen. This results in sewer overflows to the detriment of our communities. When this happens, the City makes every effort to reduce the impact on the area as much as possible.

‘As part of the City’s proactive response to this scourge, the directorate has annually been ramping up its investment to help protect this critical infrastructure:

  • Between July 2021 and June 2022, the City spent R43 million to upgrade and repair 33 vandalised sewer pump stations across Cape Town.
  • This increased so that over the past financial year ending June 2023, R70 million has been invested in security upgrades at 39 sewer pump stations including Bhongweni in Khayelitsha, Philippi East, Bishop Lavis, Crossroads, Simon’s Town, Fisantekraal, Strandfontein, Mamre, Boston and the Airport area.
  • A further R123 million investment is on its way over the next 12 months at more sewer pump stations for refurbishments and security upgrades.

‘While the City is doing all it can to prioritise the safety of our sewer pump stations, residents can also help protect this vital infrastructure by reporting information about vandalism and theft incidents. The City is so serious about clamping down on this scourge that rewards are being offered. We cannot tolerate the vandalism and theft of equipment at our sewer pump stations. Let’s work together to protect them so our communities can have healthy environments,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

Report theft/vandalism to be eligible for a reward

Various City efforts are under way to help address theft and vandalism and its impact. This includes offering a reward of up to R5 000.

Provide information on the whereabouts of stolen property or a suspected offender, by calling 0800 11 00 77.

If your confidential information leads to an arrest or recovery of stolen property by the City’s Law Enforcement or Metro Police, you can get a reward of up to R5 000.

Log water and sanitation problems or service requests

Report vandalism damage, sewer blockages, missing drain covers, burst pipes, leaks and water wastage using one of the following channels:


  • Please provide a street address, or closest landmark and contactable number should the team need to reach you.
  • You can submit photographs of the incident via WhatsApp, online and email.

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