Opening of Xonxa Dam fails again

Xonxa Dam Picture: SUPPLIED

Leaks from earlier work cause delay

The deadline for the official opening of the Xonxa Dam on October 26 passed without action yet again.

This came as no surprise to Komani residents as the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) has announced many other launch dates that never materialised.

In 2018, The Rep reported “opening dates” in September, November and December.

In 2019, the launch was postponed from March to September, with October the most recent.

The latest news The Rep has received from the municipality about the opening is that it is “coming soon”, without any specific date given.

According to CHDM spokesperson Thobeka Mqamelo, the water project, which is set to increase water supply to Komani and the surrounding areas, was completed and the next phase was to pump water to Komani.

“The delay is attributed to various challenges experienced during commissioning.

“An attempt to fully commission the scheme in September was not successful as a section of the scheme completed in 2017 showed some leaks and remedial work had to be undertaken,” she said.

Mqamelo added that the contractor and consultants were attending to the issues and that the work was almost finished.

According to the consultant, it was expected that pumping would begin soon, she said.

The drought conditions have negatively impacted on water resources throughout the area.

“Some dams, rivers, and boreholes have dried up, creating despair among communities affected. The most recent Waterdown Dam level was 23.9% on October 21,” Mqamelo said.

Meanwhile, areas such as Middelburg, Cala and Ngcobo were hit hard by the drought.

She added that in Middleburg, underground sources had dried up, while some had a low yield.

Cala rivers, which were sources of supply, had also dried up, while the Engcobo river was verging on empty, with some underground sources showing signs of complete depletion.

“The area has been declared a disaster and the intention of this was to mobilise additional resources to mitigate the effects of the drought,” Mqamelo said.

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