Despite facing constant challenges, Knysna municipality’s infrastructure services directorate continues to fulfil its obligation of maintaining the municipal area’s integral infrastructure and its systems.
“The roads and stormwater department performed general road maintenance, including the filling of potholes, to an area of 1 105 m2 during March and April this year,” says Knysna municipality municipal manager Dawid Adonis.
About 5 km of gravel roads were bladed and regravelled and 3 178 m of stormwater pipes and open drains were cleaned, he says.
“Moreover, with load-shedding wreaking havoc, our electro-technical department ensures that the current flows when it is available,” Adonis adds.
There have been strides in many sectors and the internally funded informal areas electrification programme will make a number of connections throughout five of the municipality’s wards, with the formal housing electrification programme connecting 235 households to the grid.
“The Brackenhill streetlight project was also completed at the end of March and a three-year capital works programme will see maintenance and upgrades done to the Brenton substation, Eastford substation and Hornlee-Oupad MV line, while upgrades are also underway at the workshop substation in Union street,” highlights Adonis.
However, with a reduction of R500-million in the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s integrated national electrification programme budget owing to Covid-19-related circumstances, Knysna municipality’s allocation for 2020/21 has been reduced from R5-million to zero.
Adonis says the water and sewer department had responded to more than 210 water complaints during the month of April this year.
“The department also responded to over 130 sewer complaints during the same calendar month, produced more than 400 ML of water and processed over 200 ML of effluent,” explains Adonis.
“All the while seeing to the day-to-day responsibilities of water truck deliveries, water meter installations, cleaning of sewer pump stations, work orders for mechanical and electrical breakdowns and other related maintenance activities,” he adds
This understaffed department specifically must contend with an increase in incidents of vandalism and theft, plant breakdowns, workshop overloads, load-shedding, and Covid-19 pandemic challenges.
Adonis emphasises that they have learned that challenges are opportunities that are waiting to be identified as such, and to be harnessed to its advantage.
“Our headway in terms of maintaining and extending our electrotechnical infrastructure is testament to our commitment to service delivery, and to creating an inclusive, innovative and inspired Knysna,” he concludes.