The Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers of South Africa (ASTPM) says it will provide assistance to and work as a strategic stakeholder with municipalities and water authorities to see to it that the urgently needed implementation of the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan’s objectives are met.
Some of the plan’s objectives include the reduction of water demand and increasing supply, redistributing water for transformation, improving raw water quality and restoring ecological infrastructure.
The ASTPM's pledge comes as scores of South Africa’s population, particularly those who live in outlying rural communities, are “perilously vulnerable” to the Covid-19 pandemic when compared to urban dwellers who have better access to basic water services.
As such, the ASTPM says “South Africa finds itself on tenterhooks brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the country with unprecedented daily infections”.
ASTPM refers to a recent announcement by the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation that it plans to procure 41 000 water tanks, that are to be installed in strategic locations across the country to ensure that rural communities, drought-stricken areas and informal settlements have access to water.
The ASTPM says this is a “welcome and commendable” development.
The intervention is likely to come as a massive relief for the affected communities but brings into question what interventions were in place prior to the Covid-19 pandemic having further highlighted the water crisis prevalent in these communities, the association laments.
ASTPM’s membership and its collective expertise have been involved in some of the most critical water projects over the years in South Africa, where potable water is in high demand and must be transported from remote locations.
Electric resistance welded steel pipes are the construction material of choice in these water projects, owing to the ability to vary the elongation of steel pipes allowing them to withstand stresses and strains without fracturing under shocks from surge, water hammer, earthquakes, cave-ins, washouts, extreme temperature changes, traffic vibrations, unstable foundations, and blasting, says the association.