Water & Power Report – June 2020

As part of the Ratepayers’ oversight function, its EXCO produces a monthly report on various departments within Bitou Municipality.  Below is Oliver Rissik’s portfolio report on power and water maintenance in the Plettenberg Bay area for your information.   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.  


Ratepayers Committee Monthly Report – June 2020. 



1.    The system for individual power users of solar power to feed back excess power into the municipal grid is in place, tariffs have been agreed, and all that remains is for the system to be loaded onto the municipal billing system. All users of solar power will have to register, whether connected to the municipal grid for reverse feed or not. 

2.    The tender for Automated Meter Reading has been finalised and the roll-out for bulk users (only bulk users at present) will start in the new financial year. 

3.    Approval has been given for Smart Meter installation and the tender for installation is in progress. A pilot section will be done initially. These meters will replace the current residential meters and will be able to be used for either credit or prepaid function. Meter reading will be done automatically. 

4.    Street Lights. There is no budget allowance for the 2020/21 financial year for street light replacement to LED lamp heads. The R 6 mil. budget for the current year is virtually used up and work will continue on replacement until current stock of LED lamp heads is used up. Marine Way is complete as is the lower section of Odlands. 

5.    Preventative electrical maintenance has been slowed down due to Covid 19 restrictions. 

6.    Council has approved an Electrical Preventative Maintenance Plan Policy which will determine preventative work for several years ahead. Additional funding has been obtained from Province for the implementation of the Electrical Master Plan. 

7.    A contractor has been appointed for the electrical upgrade in the New Horisons area including the installation and commissioning of the Magistrates court substation swithchgear. 

8.    A maintenance tender is closing shortly whereby, as well as other areas, the completion of the main HV ring-feed cable system will be completed. 

9.    Capital electrical work being done on “Minaar” property (Bossiesgif area) for future new housing is not proceeding well. 



1.    Roodefontein Dam is 71.2% full, up approximately 1.5% subsequent to the rain at the end of May.  

      Rainfall for first 5 months of the year is 258 mm. (74 mm in May) – Average annual rainfall for the past 23 years is 732 mm.  

      Keurbooms flow has varied considerably over the past 3 months. In March the flow varied from a low of 300 l/sec. to a high of 3110 l/sec. April low was 229 l/sec. with a high of 4494 l/sec. To mid-May the low flow was 601 l/sec with a high of 3400 l/sec. These high flows last for only 3 or 4 days, but are essential for recharging the ground water in the Keurbooms River catchment. The flow for pumping purposes is stable at present, a relief after a relatively dry 5 months. 

2.   Desalination Plant is to undergo substantial maintenance in the next few months.  Water from the desalination plant is hugely expensive (last figures we saw were R4.50 per kl compared to roughly R 0.25 kl from the Keurbooms River).  Desalination water is only used during peak periods of November to April.  

3    Draft operating budget for water department for 2020/21 is R 12 mil.  R 17 mil was requested. This may be increased to R 14 mil. However, with the Covid 19 problem and the havoc it will cause to Municipal income over the next months, this budget figure could well alter. 

4.   Boreholes. Currently no boreholes are being used for town supply, partly to “rest” the holes (for aquifers to recharge) and partly as they are at present not required.  The golf course boreholes also have a minor telemetry problem with the electronic control.  The two boreholes supplying Kurland (drilled inside the treatment works) are functioning well.  However, the plant is due for upgrade and negotiations will take place for two holes on adjacent private land to be incorporated into the Kurland supply. 

5.   The upgrading of most of the beach sewerage pump stations has been completed which should prevent any spills into the lagoon/sea.  The Keurbooms pump station (at Enricos) is due for upgrading shortly. 

6.   At Ganse Valei (Goose Valley) sewerage works a new step screen has been installed and a new standby generator installed. 

7.   The bulk water pump station at the Brakkloof reservoir (to feed Kranshoek) has been delayed. The Kranshoek water tank (metal) is due for replacement shortly as the existing one now leaks due to rust. 

8.   Nature’s Valley.  The new reservoir, part of the water infrastructure upgrade, has been delayed until the 2021/22 financial year.  In future, Nature’s Valley and Keurbooms’ maintenance will be done in-house. 

Kind regards,

Peter Gaylard