The Overstrand Municipality (OM) faces many challenges. One of their most daunting tasks is securing an adequate water supply for the ever-growing population of the region.

To this end an important new document outlining the Overstrand Municipality’s draft water services development plan has made its way into the public participation arena and will be available for public comment until 30 April.

The Draft Water Services Development Plan (WSDP) for 2019/’20, compiled in cooperation with energy and resources consultants WorleyParsons, was tabled to Council on 27 March, while the final plan will be tabled for approval by council on 29 May.

According to the draft WSMP the most significant challenges are the augmentation of the existing water sources for Hermanus, the replacement and upgrading of the old water and sewerage infrastructure to accommodate development, the provision of sustainable basic services to informal settlements and to ensure the provision of basic services to households located on privately-owned farms.

“The current replacement cost (CRC) of the water and sewerage infrastructure that will need to be replaced over the next five years is R629.3 million. The CRC of the existing water and sewerage infrastructure with a condition grading of “very poor” is R404.2 million. One of the key challenges of Overstrand Municipality is to identify adequate funds for the rehabilitation and maintenance of their existing infrastructure, which is critical to ensure the sustainability of services,” states the report.

Mayor Dudley Coetzee said water is a scarce commodity and the drought has emphasised the importance of not only conserving water but also undertaking strategic planning for future water supply and the continuous maintenance of current infrastructure.

“The plans we have in place have led to a situation where we were not adversely affected by the drought. These plans also make provision for ensuring that we have sufficient water supply for the future. The municipality spends in excess of R10 million annually on maintenance and this will continue in future,” he said.  

The report states that water supply systems in most municipalities in South Africa are under increasing threat of widespread failure due to inadequate rehabilitation and maintenance of the networks. “This is also the case in the OM’s management area, with 60.7% of the water infrastructure and 55.1% of the sewerage infrastructure having nearly reached its full life expectancy.

Water plan open for comment

“This places considerable strain on maintenance operations and the only solution is for the municipality to continue with its current commitment towards a substantial and sustained programme of capital renewal works (rehabilitation and maintenance of the existing infrastructure)

You can download a copy of the Water Services Development Plan by clicking on the link below.


“The replacement value of the water infrastructure that is expected to come to the end of its useful life over the next 5 years is R553.9 million (an average of R110.8 million per year) and for sewerage infrastructure the value is R75.356 million (an average of R15.1 million per year). The renewal burden is set to continue to increase sharply over the next 15 years as is currently the case. Water and sewerage infrastructure assets with a total current replacement value of R604.1 million and R95.8 million respectively will reach the end of their useful lives over the next 10 years and will need to be replaced, rehabilitated or reconstructed.

“It is therefore important for the council to continue with its current committed capital renewal programme and to increase the budgets allocated towards the maintenance and rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure. The municipality’s dedicated renewal programmes need to target the poor and very poor assets. If this is not done, there is a risk that the ongoing deterioration will escalate to uncontrollable proportions, with considerable impact on customers, the economy of the area and the image of the Overstrand Municipality.”

The report recommends the following implementation strategies regarding capital funds:

  • To focus strongly on revenue collection because most of the funds for the water and sewerage capital infrastructure projects are from the municipality’s own funding sources;
  • To actively implement the customer care, credit control and debt collection policies to minimize the percentage of non-payment of municipal services;
  • To identify all possible sources of external funding over the next number of years to assist the municipality in addressing the bulk infrastructure backlogs that exist in the various towns and to ensure adequate rehabilitation and maintenance of the existing infrastructure;
  • To develop asset management plans for all water and sewerage infrastructure, which will indicate the real replacement values, the service life of the assets and the funds required to provide for adequate asset replacement; and
  • To carefully balance cost and affordability of future capital budgets.

In terms of the operational budget, maintenance activities have been increasingly focused on reactive maintenance as a result of the progressive deterioration and failure of old infrastructure. Consequently, there has been a fall-of in preventative maintenance of other infrastructure. Expenditure on repairs and maintenance does not keep up with the increase in asset values as well as the ageing of the infrastructure.

“A regime of planned preventative maintenance should be established for all infrastructure assets classified as critical and important. A maintenance management system was recently established which enables the municipality to better manage its risks, and more effectively plan and prioritise the wave of renewals that are going to be required over the next 20 years,” according to the report.

Regarding the boreholes in the region, the municipality will continue with the implementation of its groundwater monitoring programmes for areas where groundwater is abstracted. The groundwater monitoring data is regularly processed, analysed and reported on by an experienced hydrogeologist in order to ascertain whether the resources are being sustainably utilised and to ensure compliance with the approved water use licenses. The Hermanus borehole projects are to be expanded.

Hermanus will experience a shortfall by 2030 in water supply under all growth scenarios. This will increase to 2.874 million m3/a by 2040 under the low-growth population scenario and to 8.632 million m3/a under the high-growth scenario. The current water sources have adequate supply to cater for the medium- and longer-term future water requirements. Potential augmented sources:

  • Develop groundwater to its full potential (Licenced volumes).
  • Regional scheme with Overberg Water for possible bulk supply from the Theewaterskloof Dam or the Palmiet River.
  • Direct and indirect potable water reuse.
  • Desalination of seawater.

The WSDP document will be available for perusal during office hours in all the public libraries at Comments can be sent for attention to H Blignaut, Draft WSDP, 1 Magnolia Street, Hermanus or fax 028 313 8030.


Overview of water services in the Overstrand:

Overstrand Municipality is situated within the Breede-Gouritz Water Management Area (WMA) and include the following towns and water distribution systems:

Rooiels, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay are supplied with bulk water from the Buffels River Dam.

Kleinmond is supplied from the Palmiet River and the “Dorpsfontein”. A borehole sank in 1998 and located 300 m to the east of the fountain, is available as additional source in case of emergency.

Greater Hermanus is supplied with bulk surface water from De Bos Dam and bulk groundwater from the Gateway, Camphill and Volmoed well fields. A portion of the final effluent from the Hermanus waste water treatment works is used for irrigation purposes at various sports complexes.

Stanford is supplied with bulk water from the high discharging Stanford Spring, generally known as “Die Oog”, which was previously the sole source of supply of potable water to the town and the greater area. Two “Kouevlakte” boreholes were also drilled during 2010/2011 and a new bulk pipeline was constructed the following year in order to connect the boreholes to the existing network.

The water sources of Gansbaai, De Kelders, Kleinbaai and Franskraal are integrated with each other through the bulk water supply distribution system. In the past specific sources were utilised for specific areas, but due to supply limitations of underground resources during peak seasons, the system has become completely integrated. Bulk water supply to the Greater Gansbaai system is from the Franskraal and Kraaibosch dams and the Klipgat and Grotte water sources, which consist of a spring in the De Kelders caves and a spring at Stanford’s Bay. Final effluent from the Gansbaai waste water treatment works is used for irrigation purposes at a sports complex.

Pearly Beach is supplied from seven springs located in the mountains some 6 km from Pearly Beach. The water from the springs is kept in storage at the Pearly Beach Dam. A Service Level Agreement is also in place for the supply of 0.26 Ml/d from the privately owned Koekemoer Dam free of charge to the municipality.

Baardskeerdersbos Buffelsjag Bay is serviced from boreholes.


Ever-changing demographics:  

Total population: 102 072

Total number of permanent households: 35 470

Average household size: 2.88 people

Total number of settlements: 36

Population increase:

The Community Survey of 2016 from Statistics South Africa estimate the 2016 population for Overstrand Municipality at 93 466 persons and the permanent households at 35 739, at an average household size of 2.6 persons per household.

According to the IDP in May 2018 the population was estimated at 96 116 and the future average annual population growth rate at 2.90%. The top three main reasons for moving to the Overstrand, according to the 2016 Stats SA Community survey, were to look for paid work (2.47%), followed by retirement (1.77%) and moving as a household with a household member for health reasons (1.65%).

The on-going in-migration into the Overstrand Municipal area will place increasing demands on the infrastructure and available space for urban growth. The increased footprint in the municipal area needs careful management if it is not to impact negatively on the natural environment of Overstrand.


Climate Change:
In terms of adapting for climate change, water systems will need to be more robust and new, alternative sources of supply may need to be found. Increased skills will be required from water managers and long-term water projections are required. Although an overall decrease in rainfall is generally not forecasted, increased variability in the climate and frequency of extreme events, as well as increased temperature and wind could have an impact on water sources, particularly surface waters.It is necessary for to develop climate response strategies and reduce levels of non-revenue water. Water-related climate change adaptation and mitigation planning should be incorporated into all WSDPs and IDPs. This must be implemented by all water sector institutions and water users and should include the optimisation of dam and groundwater operation, as well as the reduction of physical water losses and the introduction of water-efficient appliances and processes.

It is therefore advisable for the municipality that a conservative approach be followed regarding the management of water sources. It is proposed that the following approach be adopted to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change:

All resources, especially surface water resources need to be re-evaluated;

Increase assurance of supply of water resources by ensuring that there is at least 10% additional capacity (headroom), when considering the maximum 24-hour demand on the peak month of the year;

Not to undertake new developments unless a proper investigation of the implication on water sources and sustainability in the long term has been undertaken; and

Diversify water resources, e.g. surface water, groundwater, wastewater re-use and sea water desalination.


Municipal challenges:

The municipality’s challenges regarding the provision of basic water and sanitation services are as follows:

  • To provide basic water and sanitation services in the informal areas to new citizens moving into the informal areas and to ensure that health and hygiene awareness and education is part of the process of providing basic services.
  • To identify suitable land for the relocation of the people from informal areas, with existing communal services, to formal houses with a higher level of water and sanitation service (Services inside the erven).
  • To identify adequate funding for the rehabilitation, maintenance, replacement and upgrading of the existing bulk and reticulation infrastructure in order to support the sustainability of the water and sanitation services.
  • To monitor the provision of basic water and sanitation on privately owned land.


Short-term projects:

The 2018/’19 IDP list the following major water services projects which are planned for the short to medium term:

  • Expansion of the Gateway well field in Hermanus;
  • New reservoirs at Sandbaai, Pringle Bay and Gansbaai;
  • Phased replacement and upgrade of the bulk and reticulation water systems in all areas;
  • Refurbishment of De Bos and Buffels River Dam inlet structures and equipment;
  • Refurbishment of the Kleinmond and Buffels River water treatment works;
  • Stabilization Water treatment works at Stanford;
  • Water treatment works for Buffeljags Bay;
  • Direct waste water re-use scheme for Hermanus, or alternatively a seawater desalination scheme; and
  • Possible transfer scheme from Theewaterskloof Dam for Hermanus and Kleinmond.


Sanitation projects:

The following major sanitation services projects are planned for the short to medium term.

  • Upgrade of the Stanford waste water treatment works;
  • Upgrade of sewerage pump stations;
  • Upgrade of Zwelihle sewer network;
  • Upgrade of Kidbrooke sewer;
  • Extension of sewer networks in Kleinmond, Stanford and Gansbaai;
  • Replacement of sewer rising main pipelines in Kleinmond and Greater Hermanus; and
  • Refurbishment of components / processes at Hawston and Kleinmond waste water treatment works.

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