City actions R1,6bn budget to invest in water and sanitation over next year

05 Jul 2022 in Where We Govern

Over the 2022/23 financial year, which started Friday, 1 July 2022, the City of Cape Town will be investing R1,6 billion in water and sanitation infrastructure. This Council-approved budget helps secure Cape Town’s water future and it starts to make sure that we commit to helping keep communities clear of sewer overflows. It also ensures that we work towards securing a City of Hope.

The City’s Water and Sanitation Directorate is committed to working towards ‘A City of Hope’ guided by the Water Strategy, which demands that we do the basics better.

This directorate is responsible for the delivery of clean, reliable water and dignified sanitation services to all residents of our city. We also have a responsibility to ensure that the water we treat reaches our rivers, vleis and lagoons in the most pristine manner to safeguard our environment.

The Water Strategy emphasises our commitment to deliver on our constitutional responsibilities to provide water services and to manage the urban water environment.

The Water Strategy also addresses the effectiveness of network management, expanding and managing bulk water and wastewater infrastructure, maximising benefits, supporting the transition to a water sensitive city and reducing the risk associated with having to share regional resources.

However, achieving the strategic vision of a water-sensitive Cape Town through wise water use, will depend on the actions of all our residents and institutions.

2022/23 water and sanitation budget in a nutshell

Informal settlements

We will spend R36 million on new taps and toilets for informal settlements in addition to services already provided.

New Water Programme (NWP)

We are bringing online alternative water sources that will serve our growing population. The directorate will work towards implementing the new water projects that include desalination, aquifer extraction and reuse. We are set to produce an extra 300 million litres of new water everyday by 2030.

Major projects which form part of the NWP, include:

  • Atlantis Aquifer- R90 million
  • Cape Flats Aquifer Recharge–  R255 million (the aquifer project will add about 50 million litres of water per day to our network)
  • Table Mountain Group Aquifer– R51,5 million

Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW)

More than R586 million is estimated to be spent on extensions and upgrades at WWTWs.

WWTW extensions will receive R458,8 million to expand the capacity of key facilities:

  • Potsdam – up to 100 Ml/d Extension
  • Zandvliet – 18 Ml/d Extension
  • Athlone: 50 Ml/d Extension and various works
  • Macassar: 32 Ml/d Extension is in design

In addition to this, other WWTW upgrades to the value of R127,8 million, includes;

  • Cape Flats: Biosolids and sludge handling (this is in planning and design)
  • Cape Flats: New Inlet Works currently in design
  • Wesfleur Aeration and Blower Replacement
  • Infrastructure reburbishment
  • Wildevoelvlei WWTW dewatering infrastructure
  • Borchards Quarry WWTW
  • Fisantekraal WWTW
  • Bellville WWTW Diffused aeration upgrade

In the most recent Green Drop awards, the City of Cape Town’s Wastewater Branch excelled. Four WWTWs received Green Drop certification, and eight other treatment works received Green Drop Contender Awards. Our Wesfleur Domestic facility also received the award for the best performing system in the country with a rating of 99,7%. The Wesfleur Industrial WWTW received the second best Technical Site Assessment score with a rating of 96%.  See:

Proactive efforts to prevent sewer overflows

Procuring additional fleet to capacitate our depots to clean our pipes proactively and respond rapidly to overflows that need attention is an important part of our efforts to prevent sewage overflows. These vehicles are also an important part of our emergency services package in informal settlements and it assists the department to deliver water to residents who experience outages.

We will achieve this by spending:

  • R47 million to procure additional specialised vehicles such as water tankers, combination units, jet trucks and plant equipment, such as excavators and digger loaders.
  • R49,4 million to replace plumber trucks, crane tipper truckers and LDV type vehicles.
  • R72,5 million on upgrades/refurbishment of sewer pump stations. Approximately 53 routine pump station upgrades are planned and will be delivered upon this financial year. Our Pump Station Security Upgrade programme will see the addition of reinforced steel doors, concrete walls, CCTV cameras, guard dogs and security personnel among others.
  • R3 million on the development and upgrade of pump telemetry. This is to ensure our pump stations have the necessary alarm systems in place to go off when pump stations are at risk of overflowing. We need to know immediately when our pumps shut down or when high level marks are being reached so that repair teams can be dispatched immediately. We must protect our communities, stormwater drains and vleis by looking after our waterways and across directorates. We will contribute to this by investing in our pump stations and telemetry systems.
  • R150 million on sewer pipe replacements for 50km, as we move from 26km to 50km.
  • R194,4 million to tackle sewer spills by upgrading bulk sewers in Milnerton, Cape Flats, Gordons Bay and to start the very necessary work on the Philippi Collector Sewer (R8 million set aside this year to be followed by almost R100 million proposed in the next financial year)
  • R109,4 million on water pipe replacements for 50km. Communities that will benefit include Kuyasa, Atlantis, Kraaifontein, Site C, Joe Slovo, Makhaza, Gugulethu and Philippi, among others.

My vision for this directorate is to ensure that we contribute to a city of hope for all. We continue to make significant progress in providing water and sanitation services to our residents. All formal areas are adequately provided with water and sanitation services while services in informal areas are continually improved.

Our challenge in this directorate is to maintain an existing water and sanitation service for the city, while also providing service for ever-increasing households sustainably. This must be achieved in the context of providing for basic needs, maintaining an ageing infrastructure, limiting negative environmental impact, and managing water scarcity.

We can do this together Cape Town.