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Johannesburg Water Aims to Quicken Reinstatements



The corner of Sjampanje and Lubbe Rouge Street.

The issue of deteriorating water infrastructure has become more pronounced, leading to heightened frustration exacerbated by the ensuing mop-up operations.

In the aftermath of water pipe repairs, Johannesburg Water is tasked with executing a process known as “reinstatement.” This municipal terminology refers to the meticulous restoration of the excavated earth to its original state. Throughout numerous suburbs, one can observe excavated pits accompanied by heaps of sand, demarcated by branded tape. A specific instance can be found at the intersection of Sjampanje and Lubbe Rouge Street, where a pipe rupture occurred in late July, necessitating repairs that spanned from July 2 to August 2.

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In an official communication released by Johannesburg Water, celebrating the completion of 15,205 reinstatements since July 2022, the organisation highlighted substantial advancements in addressing sites that require restoration post-ground excavations. This communication delineated the scope of reinstatement efforts, encompassing minor restoration work involving tarmac, paved, and concrete surfaces. Furthermore, the activities encompassed backfilling and the construction of miniature valve boxes and chambers beneath pavements and roads.

Notably, before July 2022, Johannesburg Roads Agency was responsible for reinstatement tasks. Logan Munsamy, the Senior Operations Manager at Johannesburg Water, expounded on the transition, stating, “The decision was made to transfer the responsibility of performing reinstatements to Johannesburg Water. Our infrastructure is strategically distributed across the City of Johannesburg, comprising 10 depots within seven regions, meticulously positioned to efficiently address service delivery challenges. On average, each depot houses around four specialised reinstatement teams.”


The execution of reinstatement activities involves a combination of external contractors and internal teams at Johannesburg Water. Munsamy clarified, “Significant and extensive tasks are outsourced to three distinct service providers, distributing the workload across the various regions. These service providers operate under a structured contractual framework and possess the requisite skills, equipment, and expertise to undertake tasks of this magnitude.” He further detailed that less intricate reinstatement duties encompass minor paving, surface concreting, backfilling, and compaction activities.

Munsamy acknowledged the enormity of the reinstatement endeavour and recognised the frustrations voiced by local residents. He stated, “We have been apprised of grievances concerning substandard workmanship and perceived delays in completing tasks. When such instances come to our attention, we adhere to our stipulated contract management procedure to address these concerns.”

In response to the challenges at hand, Johannesburg Water outlined its solution, emphasising the gradual augmentation of capacity. Acknowledging that the existing backlog cannot be instantaneously eradicated, the organisation underscored that motorists’ safety and traffic flow management play pivotal roles in prioritising tasks.

Munsamy further noted, “However, due to the aged infrastructure prevalent in most suburbs, the frequency of repairs is escalating.” He concluded by stating that Johannesburg Water anticipates an increase in capital allocation each fiscal year, enabling the entity to prioritise and address the most urgent reinstatement projects.

Source: Johannesburg Water committed to increasing rate of reinstatements


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Photo: Supplied by Roodepoort Record

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