The pipe burst along the Albasini Dam main pipeline to Louis Trichardt that prevented the Vhembe District Municipality from pumping water to Louis Trichardt over the weekend. It has since been fixed. Photo: Vhembe District Municipality.
Date: 11 April 2019 By: Andries van Zyl
The water supply to parts of Louis Trichardt and surrounds was restored on Monday after the area was left with dry taps for most of last week.
Despite hopes by residents and promises by the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) that Louis Trichardt’s water supply would be restored by Saturday, 6 April, the town’s taps remained mostly dry.
Louis Trichardt and surrounds were without water for the whole of last week. This was due to a broken pump at the main pumping station at the Albasini Dam. VDM spokesperson Mr Moses Shivambu indicated last Wednesday that, should they be able to fix the pump, they would resume pumping water to town later that same day.
This, however, did not happen after the VDM failed to repair the broken pump. “Our office has purchased a new motor, which will be delivered on 6 April … so, water supply will resume immediately after the installation of the new motor. Water tankering will be available. We apologize for the inconvenience caused. The affected areas include Louis Trichardt and Tshikota,” said Shivambu on Thursday.
With the promise of a new pump, residents finally had high hopes of getting water by Saturday, but that hope was dashed once more. “The motor at Albasini water plant has been fixed, but there was a pipe burst at Jacques Bouwer’s farm along the road to Sunset Lodge … technicians are waiting for the cement to dry in order to stabilize the pipeline. Then pumping will resume tomorrow [Monday] early in the morning,” said Shivambu on Sunday.
Lo and behold, water started trickling through the town’s water system on Monday, although not to all areas. As the reservoirs had run completely dry, they were expected to take some time to fill. That residents first fill up their backup tanks at home, in preparation for the next water shortage, has become standard practice. Regarding the latest water shortage over the past week, the Democratic Alliance filed an official complaint with the South-African Human Rights Commission on Tuesday to probe the VDM’s inability or negligence to supply constant water to residents of the area.
In the meantime, Shivambu on Wednesday afternoon confirmed that the pump was still running and pumping water to town.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.