Mamlambo Construction begins building water tower

When complete, the new 2.6 mega-litre concrete reservoir at Thornhill four-ways will stand 11-storeys high, so high that approval was required from the South African Aviation Authority to erect it.

PASSING THE TEST: After three days of successful testing Mamlambo construction workers and appointed contractors stood at the recently completed piles that will support the new 2.5Ml concrete reservoir Picture: ROB KNOWLES

The reservoir will supply potable water to hundreds of homes in the Nemato area.

A regular and consistent water supply is a critical issue in the area and many projects over the years have failed to provide a solution. Appointed by Ndlambe Municipality, Mamlambo Construction, part of the Independent Group, has just completed testing the foundation that will support the tower on which the reservoir will stand 32.5m in height when complete.

Donald Davies, construction manager for Mamlambo, was pleased with the progress made so far.

“The objective is to improve the water storage capacity in the area,” he said. “We restarted the project in May when we were still on level-4 lockdown. The premier, Oscar Mabuyane commissioned the project as it is in the public interest. This concrete reservoir will last for about 40 years. A steel tank rusts and the rubber seals perish so it only last for around 15 years.”

Davies went on to explain the project thus far.

“We completed 26 concrete piles in May and they have just completed three-days of testing,” he said. “Each of the 750mm diameter piles was bored to a depth of around 16.5m until we hit bedrock, termed ‘refuse’. The foundation then sits on a solid surface. It will also be elevated because it will need to feed areas much far beyond the needed areas. In 40 years this will still be adequate for purpose.

“The next stage is to shutter, reinforce and cast the 3m-high base which we hope to complete by the end of July.”

He said the reservoir would sit on four columns and a central tower for all the pipework. Water would be pumped into the reservoir during the night, during off-peak electricity and water usage, and then feed household by gravity-feed during the day. The reservoir would be topped-up during the night. “It is much cheaper to pump of a night,” he added.

Davies further explained that 30% of the value of the contract would be awarded to emerging contractors who would be involved in constructing the sewer pump plant.  Another member of the Independent Group, Mooifontein Quarry, provides stone and aggregate.

In order to increase efficiency a tower crane will stand more than 50m when erected is also being assembled on site.

Last Friday a meeting regarding the way forward was held with all the stakeholders including a social consultant, 4K, that focuses on social development and reports to Ndlambe Municipality, emerging contractors, Mamlambo representatives and the engineering consultant, Bigen Africa which is responsible for the design.  So far the project is on schedule and should alleviate some of the water woes experienced in the area.

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