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The dire water scarcity of Komani is close to an end with the looming completion of the Xonxa water augmentation project. It is now estimated that the project stands at 95% completion rate and should be completed at the end of November.

A delegation led by Portfolio Heal for Engineering services Councillor Siyabulela Zangqa and the  Border Kei Chamber of Business visited Xonxa Dam projects sites to assess progress. The current phase (phase 5 which entails transfer of water to Komani) stands at 95% and should be completed at the end of November.

Eskom is expected to carry out connection at the pumpstation this week and commissioning will thereafter commence. The Xonxa water augmentation project began in 2014 and aimed at supplementing water to Komani whose main water source (Bonkolo Dam) dried out due to drought and now depends on Waterdown Dam of Whittlesea.

During its constructions, this project has experienced many delays and at times caused by shoddy work and labour matters between subcontractors and it employees. CHDM monitored the project and one of the subcontractor’s contract was terminated due to poor workmanship.

Komani has been implementing water restrictions since 2016 and this project will see the 18 463 households having access to water at all times of the day and night. Businesses have also borne the brunt as their operations had to be limited to accommodate water saving and water cuts. As the economic hub of the Chris Hani District, interventions had to be made to ensure that job losses, decreased agricultural activities and other consequences of drought are not experienced.

In all, this project has six phases and the last phase involves transferring of water to Ilinge and Machibini who are also experiencing water shortages.