Covid has meant changes for many of us & PARRA has been no different. Just because we have been quiet, does not mean that we have not been busy behind the scenes working with other role-players in the area to build a better Port Alfred. We thought it best to give a brief summary from our Chairman, Dawie van Wyk, of what we have been up to over the last two years:
- Pump Stations: PARRA was involved in successfully working with the Director of Infrastructure to audit and repair all the pumps between the Sarel Hayward Dam and the Water Treatment Plant in Nemato. A contractor which was duly suggested by PARRA was appointed to refurbish and fix the pumps. The submersible pumps at Pump Station No 1 did not work the last time we had water behind the weir in the Kowie River.
- Boreholes: PARRA was able to persuade the Director of Infrastructure to appoint Hallowed Ground to monitor the Central Belt Boreholes (which were being over utilised.) The Municipality was previously being misinformed by their foreman that these boreholes were in working order when in actual fact there was no electricity supply from Eskom to these boreholes. This situation had been the case for 6 months before the problem was rectified.
- Additional Boreholes: PARRA also influenced the drilling of additional boreholes by Amatola Water on Grove Hill Farm.
- Budget: PARRA, through its interventions and interactions with the municipality was able to keep the rates increase to just above the inflation rate. Total overtime and casual labour budgets were reduced and the percentage of the Budget that is taken up by wages (which is currently 38%) was highlighted.
- Ndlambe Property Roll Valuation: After reviewing the valuation role, PARRA found numerous errors and interacted with the consultant who compiled the valuation roll to rectify these in the Roll which have subsequently been corrected. This Ndlambe Property Valuation Roll still has errors and inconsistencies that need to be addressed and is a continuous project.
- Sarel Hayward Dam (SHD): Constant monitoring and photographic evidence by PARRA showed that the Municipality were over estimating the percentage of water left in the SHD. The Pumps and Pumps Stations were in a terrible state. These have subsequently been attended to.
- A solution (pump on raft) was instigated by PARRA to harvest what water was still in the SHD below the bottom inlet valve (normally with the current configuration) this water cannot be pumped from the SHD into the Water Treatment Plant that supplies water to Port Alfred.
- PARRA made available a water reticulation diagram to explain to residents and ratepayers how Port Alfred’s water reticulation system works.
- PARRA has insisted and informed Ndalmbe LM that the 3.0 ML/d re-use water RO plant will never have enough effluent to effectively produce 3.0 ML/d. New Ground, the appointed consultants, were under the impression that most of Port Alfred was on waterborne sewage, which is simply not the case.
- PARRA has asked numerous times for a dedicated pipeline and pump to harvest the water from behind the weir when the Kowie River flows again. Currently the pump’s configuration only allows for a percentage of the water from behind the weir to be pumped into the SHD, the rest is pumped to the Balancing Dam. It will take more than a year to fill the SHD with this configuration. This dedicated pipeline has been turned down as the budgeted cost is over R 4 million.
Nothing is fixed overnight and it is important that we continually stay on the pulse of the various issues which face our beautiful town. Remember, we are always looking for solutions and people to actively get involved.