Magalies Water expands its supply to Rustenburg Municipality

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Magalies Water says it is working around the clock to expand its supply to the Rustenburg Local Municipality in the North West. This follows complaints from residents, who bemoan consistent water cuts in the densely populated municipality.

Residents also allege that they get dirty water from the municipality.

Magalies Water is one of the two water boards that supply water to Rustenburg. While it is servicing the internal areas of Rustenburg and other villages, Rand Water is supplying the entire town and Northern areas of Rustenburg from Johannesburg.

Magalies Water says their biggest challenge is that the current supply does not meet the growing demand.

All 45 wards in Rustenburg are subjected to water cuts. Residents say the relief of getting water during certain hours is unfortunately overshadowed by dirty drops.

“One challenge that we’re experiencing is dirty water. Yes, sometimes they might give us water but it’s water that you cannot use. It just goes to the toilet,” a resident says.

“The water challenges these days are very bad. I run a small business and it’s very difficult because I have a daycare and hands must be washed every five minutes,” another resident laments.

Residents complain that sometimes the water is out for a week but “the bill when it comes you pay full amount like you’ve been receiving the water every month.”

The Rustenburg local municipality previously alluded that all of Rustenburg’s water systems are under tremendous pressure due to demand exceeding supply. The Municipality has now confirmed that they have been getting dirty water from Magalies Water.

The mayor of the Rustenburg Local Municipality, Sheila Mabale-Huma says,  “There’s a laboratory where water is being tested. Many times, we are told by you Magalies Water that you’re testing water and after testing water from your laboratory sometimes water is confirmed for consumption sometimes it’s not. What our communities are arguing about, which as the municipality we’re also raising, is brown water. Sometimes technical people will tell you of technical issues. They will tell you about manganese when there’s water interruption, when there is a pipe burst, when they must bring back water to the reservoirs the manganese is interrupting but what matters is that water is dirty and it comes back to us as the municipality.”

Meanwhile, Magalies Water says the intermittent supply and rationing of water is partly due to them treating water quality.

“We have been dealing with numerous instances of reports pertaining to poor water quality and as when we identify poor water quality either in the form of unpleasant smell or taste, we need to take precautionary in making sure that we protect members of the public from any imminent danger of and in most instances, we have to suspend operations while we are undertaking investigations. In some instances, we have to implement water supply restrictions to make sure that we then strengthen our water treatment processes to ensure that the portable water we are dispensing to the public is safe for human consumption,” says Magalies Water Spokesperson David Magae.

According to MacroTrends, Rustenburg has close to 600 000 people with a 3. 14% increase from the previous year. The water board says it is working on several projects to meet the water demand in Rustenburg.

“Currently Magalies Water is implementing the Pilanesberg bulk water scheme phase two, which is just costing the organization above R900 million. With this particular project, we are intending to provide about R70 million additional Liters of portable water into Rustenburg. We’ve completed the construction of the Mafenya reservoir close to sun city and the Tlhabane reservoir, which is in the Tlhabane township outside Rustenburg, is seating over 75% completion. What we’re also doing is to lay the bulk pipeline between the two reservoirs and the plant,” Magae added.

It is envisioned that in the next three to four years water supply to Rustenburg will be much improved.