Rand Water unveils largest-of-its-type reservoir in Ekurhuleni

3rd March 2023 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Rand Water has unveiled a new 210 Mℓ post-tensioned concrete reservoir in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, deemed to be the largest of its type in South Africa.

The next largest reservoir of its type is a 200 Mℓ reservoir in Saudi Arabia, said Rand Water chairperson Ramateu Monyokolo during a tour of the project.

Construction on the new cylindrical and circular reservoir at the Vlakfontein site, as part of Rand Water’s effort to augment its water storage, broke ground on May 12, 2020, with a completion date of April 25, 2023, expected.

About 220 job opportunities for locals in Ward 24 and Ward 110 in the Ekurhuleni local municipality were created during construction.

The Vlakfontein reservoir will provide additional water storage and supply in areas east of Tshwane and the Ekurhuleni, Govan Mbeki, Victor Khanye, Thembisile Hani and Lesedi local and metropolitan municipalities.

Rand Water CEO Sipho Mosai told delegates at the site that the newly built reservoir added to Vlakfontein’s existing 420 Mℓ reservoir, bringing the site’s total capacity to 630 Mℓ, enabling a 24-hour capacity should there be any pumping challenges or power outages.

The 210 Mℓ reservoir is part of the Mapleton system which receives water from the Zuikerbosch purification and pumping station through two pipes, which are both 2 100 mm in diameter, and distributes the potable water to various municipalities through two outgoing pipelines, which are also 2 100 mm in diameter.

“The reservoir will accommodate water demands supply in areas situated in the east of Tshwane and Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality up to the year 2035 and this is based on a compounded growth rate of 2% for the areas,” added Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu during the ribbon-cutting ceremony last month.

Mchunu, highlighting the extensive work carried out by Rand Water in Gauteng and other parts of the country, said that the construction of the reservoir formed part of measures put into place as part of Rand Water’s strategies of refurbishing and augmenting water infrastructure.

“The augmentation includes the expansion of potable production capacity at the river stations, as well as infrastructure that radiates away from river stations, which is pipework, pumps, reservoirs or associated automation and electrical infrastructure.”

“When pipelines, pumpstations and additional potable capacity at river stations are upgraded, outright additional capacity can be delivered to customers,” he continued.

The new Vlakfontein reservoir brings the number of Rand Water’s reservoirs to 59, with another 13 new reservoirs being built from now until 2028, increasing the water board’s capacity by 25% from the current 6 100 Mℓ a day to 7 630 Mℓ.

This year alone, Rand Water will add 600 Mℓ a day of capacity, said Mosai, who added that Rand Water planned to spend more than R5-billion over the next five years on new projects to augment its capabilities in the provision of water.