City on the road to investing more than R70m in pump station upgrades and repairs

26 Jul 2022 in Where We Govern

The City’s Water and Sanitation Directorate has already invested R43 million to upgrade and repair 33 vandalised sewer pump stations across the city between July 2021 and June 2022. Going forward, the City has budgeted to spend over R70 million over the 2022-2023 financial year, which started on 1 July, on upgrades/refurbishment of more sewer pump stations. These efforts aim to help ensure that these critical water and sanitation infrastructure resources are safeguarded.

Sewer pump stations are an important part of the network. The majority of the system works on gravity, but in cases where the sewage must flow uphill, pump stations maintain the flow to wastewater treatment plants.

Over the next year, the City plans to spend over R70 million on routine upgrades at more than 30 pump stations. 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.

Some of these pump stations will include Spine Road, Stock Road in Philippi, Bishop Lavis, Raapkraal, Philippi Phase 4, Grey Road in Tableview and Clifton Road in Muizenberg.

Most recently, during May and June 2022 in the previous financial year (2021 – 2022), the City upgraded and completed repairs at various pump stations in, among others, the following areas: Wallacedene, Killarney in Stinkgat, Milkhood in Noordhoek, Area L in Mitchells Plain, Weltevreden Park, Site B in Khayelitsha, Bloekombos, Bokmakierie, Vukuzezele, Philippi East, Philippi West and Joe Slovo sewer pump stations.

Wallacedene pump station was torched by arsonists where the electrical and mechanical equipment required for the pump station to function were completely destroyed. This meant that it was unable to operate. This resulted in sewer overflows and flooding at the station as well as the linked sewer network throughout the Wallacedene area.

Some of the upgrades at the pump stations included a security camera system, concrete fencing, an alarm system, guard house with a guard, and physical repellent system.

Let’s work together

‘Thank you to all our affected residents for their patience while these valuable facilities were being repaired and upgraded over the past year. The City will continue to prioritise and invest over R70 million in upgrades and repairs at sewer pump stations over the next year to safeguard these critical facilities.

‘Communities play an important role too in being our eyes and ears to report any information of theft or vandalism incidents. The knock-on effect of pump station vandalism is immense because this means pump stations cannot operate and deliver the services to communities as they should. The true cost of vandalism is more than just the repairs. Pump station vandalism contributes to sewer overflows and affects healthy living environments for our residents.

‘The ongoing theft and vandalism of our critical water and sanitation infrastructure is a pain for our residents and is costing the City millions of rands. The City does not have a limitless budget. Anyone stealing this equipment is essentially stealing from our residents. It costs a lot to replace and repair, and the money could have been used for other services,’ said Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation.

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 to any resident who reports incidents or information related to the theft and vandalism of water and sanitation infrastructure that lead to a successful arrest or recovery of stolen equipment. Residents can provide information to one of the City’s Safety and Security agencies like Law Enforcement and Metro Police to be eligible.
  • Replacing reported stolen and damaged manhole covers.
  • The Safety and Security Directorate’s Metal Theft Unit performs scrap yard and bucket shop visitations, patrols areas targeted by metal thieves and execute arrests, as well as following up on reported metal theft cases.
  • Education and awareness campaigns

Recently the City and the National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) launched an anti-vandalism campaign, see the link:

‘The City is using our available resources to tackle this issue of vandalism and theft of our water and sanitation infrastructure by teaming up with the DWS. Together, we are hoping residents will help us and their neighbours by providing information about vandalism or suspects involved, reporting missing or damaged manhole covers and blocked sewers. Cape Town belongs to its people and all of us have a role to play in tackling this scourge of theft and vandalism,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

Report theft/ vandalism to be eligible for a reward 

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 R5000.

Support efforts to improve security in your area

For help improving or creating a Neighbourhood Watch, email or call 0800 11 00 77 and ask for the Community Safety Liaison Officer in your area to contact you.

Log water and sanitation service requests

Report vandalism damages, sewer blockages, missing drain covers, burst pipes, leaks and water wastage using one of the following channels (Please provide the street address, and get a reference number):