Infrastructure projects under way in Port Alfred

Talk of The Town followed up with Ndlambe Municipality on infrastructure upgrade projects in Port Alfred, and below are the responses she received from spokesperson, Cecil Mbolekwa.

SEWERAGE UPGRADES: Infrastructure works are currently under way on Wharf Road as part of the municipality’s long term plan to end sewage spillages in Port Alfred. In this particular project, several fault-prone pump stations will be replaced with a gravity-fed system to a single pump station. Picture: FAITH QINGA

Q: When we reported on the Thornhill water tower in April, the contractors told Ndlambe that the already delayed project would be completed within three months. Did they meet the deadline and what is the current status of the elevated tower? 

A: No, the deadline was not met due to the fact that Mamlambo Construction had undergone a change in directorship. This change resulted in cash flow problems. However, this will not affect the project because the municipality is still committed to completing it. At the rate of progress in April 2022, it was expected the project would be complete by July 2022; however In May 2022 , the project team was informed that Mamlambo Construction had gone into voluntary liquidation resulting in work being stopped. Their staff were not paid for May 2022. During May and June 2022 , the funder (Office of the Premier) and Ndlambe Local Municipality, together with the professional team, commenced with arrangements to complete the project utilising remaining funds and equipment on site. Currently the project is approximately 80% complete and it is anticipated work will recommence in September 2022 . 


Q: May you please tell us about the new project of the pipes being laid next to the road to Station Hill. What infrastructure is being installed and what area will it serve? 

A: This is part of the long term plan that the municipality is always embarking on due to sewage spillages and pump stations that are not functional in Port Alfred. 

The aim is to eliminate all these pump stations that frequently fail by gravitating sewage down to the new proposed pump station. This will be positioned next to the Nuwater RO plant. 

Thereafter, the aim is to pump this sewage straight to the Port Alfred Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW). The Municipal plan is holistic: it is to augment sewage flowing into the WWTW thus unlocking the reclamation plant which is operated by Quality Filtration Systems. At present the reclamation plant is not functional due to low sewage volumes entering it. 


Q: In the council meeting that sat on May 31, the council approved a budget of R85 million under the Water Services Infrastructure Grant. Some of these funds were to be invested in sewerage upgrades. Please could you update us on the status of these upgrades. 

A: Yes it is correct. All these funds are being invested in sewerage upgrades as per my discussion above. There are five projects that are planned to be implemented by the municipality under the R85m budget. Two of those closed for tendering on 23 August 2022 and the bids are currently being evaluated by the bid evaluation committee. The Wharf Street project is another of these. It is already in the implementation stage and is progressing well. 

The last two projects are still under design and are expected to be out to tender before the end of September 2022.