One of the activities of the Plett Ratepayers’ Association is to monitor the service delivery, maintenance, upgrading and forward planning of Bitou municipal services and its assets. The inevitable result of a lack of foresight is an increase in the deterioration of service delivery. Below are three monthly oversight reports by PBRRA committee executives to keep you informed.
Steve Pattinson, a local pilot, has been meeting with Bitou representatives to discuss the following actions:
· attend to urgent open issues raised by the CAA before their November 2021 inspection, in particular fire and rescue services, security and maintenance of runway and taxiways;
· draft a new lease agreement for the current hangar owners, and initiate construction of new hangars;
· put fuel provision out to re-tender since contract to VRST was “irregular” and didn’t follow proper procedure;
· control vegetation because of fire hazard;
· installation of runway lights which have been donated to the airport by Cemair.
Bill Alexander, a retired consulting engineer, reports as follows on the Solid Waste Management and Waste Water Treatment facilities:
1. Closure of the old landfill site, being done by Calorossi, is on schedule and on budget, and due to be completed first quarter 2022.
2. Commissioning of the Drop-Off site for green waste behind Old Nick should be open by end of August.
3. The Waste Minimization Plan Report for Bitou has recently been open for Public Participation comment. Whereas the report makes many good recommendations, we have made several contributary comments.
4. Transfer Station:
· The berm to screen it off from the public is nearing completion and looking good.
· No budget has been allocated for getting the compost plan into operation. It needs to be investigated for financial self-sustainability. Residents are encouraged to start composting their own organic wastes. Information on how to do this will be published on this website.
· The service provider for collection and disposal of recyclables will be closely monitored to determine that they meet their deliverables.
· The contract for picking recyclable material from waste delivered to the transfer station is being advertised, and it is proposed that EPWP workers will be used.
· It is planned to construct a R35 million recycling facility at the Transfer Station. R10 million has been budgeted for the new financial year for detailed planning and the appointment of a design consulting engineer. We have asked for more clarity on whether this significant expenditure will be justified.
1. The design of the extension of the Kurland Waste Water Treatment Works is being finalized and will be put out to tender in the next few months.
2. The potable water treatment facilities at Kurland also need to be upgraded but no budget has yet been allowed for this.
3. R1.8 million has been allowed for the mechanical and electrical upgrades at the Gansevlei WWTW.
4. R2.0 million is currently being budgeted for the replacement of old fibre cement water pipes which fail repeatedly. This is nowhere near enough and it is estimated that between R5 to R10 million/year
5. The Municipality operates a total of about 70 sewage pump sites of which 30 can be considered to be major pump stations. The maintenance of the mechanical and electrical equipment is well managed and an effective preventive maintenance plan is in place. However, like everything else it is under budgeted. About 90% of the pump stations have emergency generators to deal with power outages, and all the ones near the beaches are properly equipped. Some of the pump stations have fibre cement rising mains and attention will have to be given to these before they start failing.