The City rolls out free leak detection and repairs to indigent residents
The City of Cape Town has accelerated the roll-out of its Water Leaks Project to indigent properties. The project focuses on areas which have the highest indigent property leakage rate in the metro. This is part of the City’s drought action to ensure that water losses are kept as low as possible and at the same time to assist those who are unable to afford to fix leaks on their properties. Read more below:
Thus far the City’s contractors have investigated around 10 000 of the 30 000 identified indigent properties. Once leaks are detected, the team returns to complete the necessary repairs free of charge.
As part of its ongoing water demand reduction efforts, the City has increased its leak detection work including the capacity of its leak detection teams to attend to private properties, especially in previously disadvantaged areas across the metro. In general, leaks on private properties are the responsibility of the owner of the property but many residents do not have the means to pay for fixing leaks.
Investigations have revealed a very high level of private leaks on a number of properties situated in vulnerable communities.
‘The City has been assisting our indigent customers through the Water Leaks Project since 2005. However, recent investigations indicate a great need to accelerate the leak detection and repair work element of this project, especially while we are still experiencing the most severe drought on record.
‘We are focusing all our efforts on these areas and urge residents who are approached to allow the contractors onto their properties for them to detect and repair leaks. For some of these properties, we will be doing the repair work for a second time even if we identify they have already benefited from this intervention in the past,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.
The contractor for this project is the Joat Group and can be identified via card identification, protection vests and branded cars. Where possible, local labour has been sourced and this has been done with consideration of the communities in which the work will be carried out.
Aside from doing a once-off repair of all of the water leaks free of charge, the City also assists indigent residents by writing off all their arrears once-off and installing a free water management device (WMD). The WMD is a tamper-proof device which will enable these households to detect water leaks and to monitor their available water allocation.
We ask that all homeowners regularly check for and repair water leaks on their properties. Homeowners should also check their municipal bill as this would indicate if there is a sudden spike in usage that is unaccounted for. Water leaks and water wastage can be reported to the City’s 24/7 call centre line on 0860 103 089 or SMS 31373 (max 160 characters).
For more information on how to find and fix leaves please see the link below:
For more information on the City’s Indigent benefits please see the link below:
African news agency