The pump station in Khayelitsha which services Site B and some households in Site C has been completely destroyed and will cost more than R6 million to repair.
Cape Town mayor, Dan Plato and Mayco member for water and sanitation Xanthea Limberg visited the site last week to determine the extent of damages which have resulted in a massive overflow of sewerage water in both these areas.
Ms Limberg said the repair costs could increase depending on final quotations but added that the City was close to procuring all the necessary machinery and other equipment required.
She said the cabling had been stolen but Eskom was going to assist in that regard.
The pump station serviced the sewer operations for about 8 000 households in Site C and as well as portion of Site B, and including informal settlements in the area.
And because the pump station was no longer working, Ms Limberg said, sewers were overflowing and the number of complaints generated in these areas had gone up.
“As an interim solution we started with mobile pumping stations and it is happening on a daily basis. It is costing the city roughly R3 million and that cost would increase until this pump station is fixed. We expect the pumping station to be reopened around June or latest, early July,” Ms Limberg said.
“We are all in agreement that the partnership with the community is key because the City has the responsibility and legal mandate to render a service but the community has an equal responsibility to protect that resource that renders that service. I think we will engage the community to assist us in safeguarding such equipment,” she added.
Mr Plato said all the machines required to extract the drainage had been taken and it was terrible to see such vandalism .
He said the thugs who stole the machines do not understand the massive problems they have created. In addition to this, said Mr Plato, staff were reluctant to enter the area because they were targeted by criminals, pointing out that a worker ended up in intensive care for two weeks after being shot.
Chairperson of Sub-council 24, Xolani Sotashe, said residents must play their role in ensuring that resources which are meant to service them, are kept safe.
He said the government did not have money to keep repairing vandalised infrastructure – and that in many cases the vandals come from the very communities serviced by the facilities they destroyed.