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Fibre cables cause water disruption

Water supply to parts of Parow have been disrupted intermittently over the past few weeks, apparently as a result of contractors hitting water pipes while digging trenches.

Since the contractors started digging trenches to install fibre cables, six such accidents have already been recorded, one resident told TygerBurger.

The construction workers, the resident say, are employed by Vumatel, an internet service provider.

“So far six water pipes had been hit. This affects the water pressure. Recently we did not have water for an entire day,” Janine de Wee, a resident in Smith Street, Parow, say.

She says at one point it took the City of Cape Town’s repair team about 24 hours to repair a water pipe.

Another time a pipe was hit so badly in Third Avenue that the water flowed down the road like a river, she says.

“At the end of the day, we are the ones suffering.”

At the time of the interview De Wee had no running water as a result of one of these accidents.

“I have been speaking to the municipal workers who confirmed that it is the Vumatel contractors. It is frustrating for us as residents. They need to be held accountable.”

In response, Ewald van der Westhuizen, regional director for Vumatel in Cape Town, told the newspaper that Vumatel is doing its best to mitigate the risk of damaging services.

“Unfortunately damages to services on a large scale civil project are impossible to avoid in its entirety due to a number of factors. The total area is just over 66 kilometres of trenching of which we have already completed 64,8 kilometres. Thus we are at the end of the project with only 1,2 kilometres of trenching remaining and hope to have the entire area live with fibre at the end of November,” Van der Westhuizen says.

Vumatel is currently installing fibre to homes in the Parow, Glenlily, Fairfield Estate and Churchill Estate.

Van der Westhuizen says every service that gets damaged is logged and tracked.

“We are aware of the water damages that occurred. The project was suspended last week so that we could assess the reasons for these damages occurring and to ensure we learn from the mistakes.”

To prevent further damage, the company has decided that any remaining drill work, will be inspected by their consulting engineer, KWCE on behalf of the City, as well as their own project management staff.

“We understand that there may be some pains during the roll-out, but we believe that it is all worth the benefits of installing fibre into the community in the end,” Van der Westhuizen adds.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for water and waste, says these are independent contractors who are not appointed by the City.

“The City has temporarily stopped any work on-site until the matter has been addressed with the consulting engineers who are supervising the contractors.

“We have been saving water since the water restrictions were implemented,” says De Wee.

Another resident in nearby Weimar Road, Glenlily in Parow, Gert van Schalkwyk, told the newspaper earlier that at one time the water was running down the road for four days.

  • Any residents who would like to voice their concerns can email buildct@vumatel.co.za or visit www.vumatel.co.za.
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