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Oudtshoorn Municipality Receive R4.665 Million

Oudtshoorn, 14 March 2023 – The Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality received funding of R4.665 million from the Western Cape Government to help alleviate the negative impact of loadshedding on service delivery.  This was after a Provincial Cabinet meeting earlier this year, where the Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, authorized the release of emergency relief funding to the Department of Local Government for the procurement of backup power supply for the treatment and supply of water services.

Although loadshedding is affecting both water and wastewater infrastructure in the Greater Oudtshoorn, the impact most acutely felt by the Municipality (and consequently downstream consumers) currently is the provision of basic drinking water, and therefore the Municipality has prioritized certain projects in terms of the funding allocation.

The Klein Karoo Rural Water Schemes (KKRWS) and Dysselsdorp water supply systems are 100% dependent on groundwater sources, with eight production boreholes supplying water to the Water Treatment Works (WTW). The combined yield when all eight boreholes are in operation is equal to the daily demand, so continuous operation on a 24-hour basis is essential. In the event of loadshedding, the demand exceeds the supply of water and any reserve capacity available is quickly depleted, resulting in water shortages. To address this, proposed loadshedding relief measures have been identified as a first step towards addressing the current challenges.

Battery Storage Facilities for 3 Borehole Pumpstations

The Municipality was considering the installation of conventional diesel-powered generators at the eight boreholes, but due to their remoteness and environmental sensitivity, this is not feasible. However, modern battery storage technology, due to its long lifespan, reduced charge time, increased depth of discharge, and virtual maintenance-free aspects have provided a viable alternative which the Municipality is keen to implement. These battery systems can be charged by solar panels when funds allow them in the future, making them more cost-effective and operational in the long run. In view of the funds currently available only 3 boreholes have been prioritised at this stage.

New ± 300 kVA Generator for Dysselsdorp Water Treatment Works

The additional time lost after each loadshedding timeframe and the restarting process of the filtration system which is currently the modus operando would be eliminated by the new ± 300 kVA generator that will be installed to supply emergency standby power required at the Dysselsdorp WTW facility. Currently due to loadshedding, the pumping operations required for the filling of the service reservoirs are causing water shortages experienced by downstream consumers.

The Municipality already appointed service providers to undertake/oversee the work. The anticipated delivery period of equipment is approximately 10-12 weeks for battery storage/inverter modules and 12-14 weeks for generator equipment. It is anticipated the installation will be completed during June 2023

It is with much appreciation that the municipality acknowledges the Western Cape Government’s assistance in trying to reduce the negative impact load shedding is having on the successful implementation of the Municipality’s core mandate of service delivery.