Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has commended the progress made on the construction of Masodi Waste Water Treatment Works in Mokopane, Limpopo.
Mchunu said the new project, which is currently 92% complete, will serve as a model for other municipalities to follow suit and embrace partnerships and collaborations with private sector for socio economic development of their communities.
He said he is confident that by the end of the year, the project will be commissioned, and Mogalakwena Local Municipality will be a model to many municipalities in the country in terms of management of waste water and effluent.
“This waste water treatment works project should be a lesson for other municipalities that working with private sector is a way to go in order to improve our service delivery systems and socio economic development of our communities,” Mchunu said.
The Masodi Waste Water Treatment plant is a multi-year public private partnership project by Mogalakwena Municipality, fully funded and implemented by Ivanplats Proprietary Limited Mine.
The plant is being upgraded to produce 10 megalitres a day (ml/d), which will improve sanitation provision to Mokopane and the surrounding areas. It will also enable local industries to have access to the grey water for reuse from the treated effluent released from the plant.
The construction of the biological nutrient removal (BNR) plant, which consists of the plant itself, booster pump station and the pipelines that link the new plant to the existing sewer system, started in 2015 by the municipality but was discontinued until 2021 when Mchunu intervened and enabled the project to resume.
Mchunu acknowledged Ivanplats input in ensuring that the project is expedited and is finished on time.
“The expediency and the precision that they apply on the work is quite commendable. They have managed to get the project to near completion even before the scheduled timeframes,” the Minister said.
The Municipality and Ivanplats have also signed another Memorandum of Agreement to replace the asbestos sewer pipelines that will connect to the existing Masehlaneng and Sekgakgapeng Oxidation Ponds.
The old sewer system is currently, not efficient and prone to spillages which resulted in the municipality being taken to court by the department for non- compliance with waste water management.
Mchunu and Deputy Minister Judith Tshabalala conducted a site inspection at the Masodi Waste Water Treatment Works, as part of a two-day visit to Limpopo.
Mchunu’s visit on 12- 14 July 2023, aimed to assess the progress of the construction of the waste water treatment plant, and the preparation for the upgrade of Olifantspoort Water Treatment Works near Lebowakgomo in Capricorn District Municipality.
The Minister said they are happy with the planning and preparations to upgrade the water treatment plant.
“With Lepelle Northern Water as an implementing agent, we have come together and have finalised issues of planning, timeframes and funding of the project,” Mchunu said.
The much-anticipated Olifantspoort Water Treatment Works will undergo a series of refurbishment and upgrades from 60 to ultimately 280 ml/d, in order to improve its performance, capacity, and to meet current and future potable water demands.
The water treatment plant forms part of the Olifants/ Ebenezer Water supply Schemes and serves as a one of the lifelines for drinking water to Polokwane in the Capricorn District.
The Minister warned that Polokwane is in deficit by 30 million litres per day, and Olifants water treatment plant capacity is now small and does not meet water demand anymore.
Mchunu also met with Lebalelo Water User Association to assess progress on the Olifants Management Model (OMM) Programme, which is a 50/50 partnership Olifants River Water Resources Development Project between the department and association.
The OMM Programme involves the development of additional water resource infrastructure, including the De Hoop and Flag Boshielo Dams along the Steelpoort River and a bulk distribution system to benefit the Sekhukhune District and Mogalakwena Local Municipality.