Water supply has been restored to most parts of East London after emergency repair work was concluded on Tuesday afternoon.
The Buffalo City Metro’s Thandy Matebese says the siphon, which supplies raw water for treatment at Umzonyana Water treatment works was restored at around 4pm.
Currently the Umzonyana Water Treatment Works is operating at full production and some areas are already receiving water.
Matebese says that due to the system configuration and elevation, the last areas to get water will be high lying areas in Vincent, Beacon Bay and Gonubie, which are expected to get water later on Wednesday afternoon.
Currently, as the system is filling up, Quigney, Cambridge and East London CBD are still affected and will be restored during the course of the day.
Meanwhile businesses in East London estimate they have lost R460 million due to the city’s waters woes which have left large areas with little to no water for most of this week.
Executive Director at the Border-Kei Chamber of Business, Les Holbrook said that the loss estimated was for just a half day’s work, this according to a survey conducted by chamber members. The chamber had 700 members which included small to large enterprises.
Holbrook said that most of the process industries or manufacturing companies such as Mercedes Benz could not function.
“When you have 3,000 employees and you can’t flush a toilet it’s a problem. Members are talking about long term and short term affects, namely canceling orders, reputation management, risk and loss in terms of tanks and cleaning out machinery,” said Holbrook.
“The challenge is how do we deal with the risk? We have tankers running all over town. We used to a situation where we have no electricity, but we are not used to having no water, water is critical.”
Holbrook said a major issue was the lack of communication in that businesses had had no warning there would be no water.
“It’s a major problem, at least if we knew about it before hand we could mitigate a plan. There is a need for us to have clear communication.”
“The main thing is that we don’t know the extent of the interruption and when it’s going to end. In some parts there is no water and in other parts it’s muddy,” he said.