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Update: Progress On Emergency Power To The KKRWS Boreholes

Oudtshoorn, 07 November 2023 – The Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality is proud to announce that the installation of a 300 kVA diesel generator at the Dysselsdorp Water Treatment Works (WTW) and standby power (50 kW inverters with lithium iron battery banks) at borehole VR7 and DP18 is completed. Commissioning took place in October 2023. Unfortunately, during the pre-commissioning for VR7, it was noted that the new battery bank was faulty and as such has been returned to the manufacturer for a replacement unit. The delivery date still needs to be confirmed in this regard. The generator at the WTW and the standby for DP18 are however now in operation bringing much-needed relief. To ensure the KKRWSS’s self-sufficiency during load shedding, standby power units must be installed for the remaining 6 boreholes as outlined in the Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Efforts are underway to secure funding sources for this initiative.

In March 2023 the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality announced significant progress in addressing the challenges posed by loadshedding on service delivery, thanks to a substantial funding injection of R4.665 million received from the Western Cape Government. This funding was secured following 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. The primary objective of this funding was to procure backup power supply solutions for the treatment and supply of water services.

The impact of loadshedding on both water and wastewater infrastructure in the Greater Oudtshoorn has been keenly felt. However, the most acute consequence has been in the provision of basic drinking water. As a result, the Municipality has prioritized specific projects to address these challenges, considering the urgent need to allocate the available funding efficiently.


a) Klein Karoo Rural Water Schemes and Dysselsdorp Water Supply Systems

The Klein Karoo Rural Water Schemes (KKRWS) and Dysselsdorp water supply systems are 100% reliant on groundwater sources, with eight production boreholes supplying water to the Water Treatment Works (WTW). When all eight boreholes are operational, the combined yield matches the daily water demand, requiring continuous 24-hour operation. During load shedding, the demand outstrips the supply, depleting any reserve capacity, and resulting in water shortages. To alleviate this challenge, the Municipality has identified loadshedding relief measures as the crucial first step.

b) Battery Storage Facilities for 3 Borehole Pumpstations

Conventional diesel-powered generators for all eight boreholes were considered, but their remoteness and environmental sensitivity rendered them infeasible. Instead, modern battery storage technology has been chosen for its extended lifespan, reduced charge time, increased depth of discharge, and minimal maintenance requirements. These batteries can be charged by solar panels when funds permit, enhancing long-term cost-effectiveness. Currently, due to funding constraints, only three boreholes have been prioritized.

c) New ± 300 kVA Generator for Dysselsdorp Water Treatment Works

To eliminate downtime and disruption caused by load shedding, a new ± 300 kVA generator was installed at the Dysselsdorp Water Treatment Works. The restarting process of the filtration system results in lost time, affecting the filling of service reservoirs and causing water shortages downstream.

The Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality deeply appreciates the invaluable support from the Western Cape Government in addressing the negative impact of load shedding on the Municipality’s core mandate of service delivery.