Work on the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline has stopped after Turnall, a pipe-producing company, failed to supply the pipes, a Cabinet minister has revealed.
The Minister of Water Resources Management and Development Samuel Sipepa Nkomo told NewsDay work on the pipeline is currently on hold due to a problem with pipe supplies.
“There is currently no work being carried out because we had a problem with our pipes. The pipes which we had acquired and paid for from Turnall had to be returned as they lacked some of the components.
The pipes did not have any fibre in them, so we had to return them,” he said.
Nkomo said they had already paid over $2 million for the pipes.
“However, we have since returned the pipes and our money has been refunded as well,” he said. The pipes from Turnall were unsuitable as raw material used in the making of the pipes was supposed to come from Mashava Mine, which is currently not operating as it collapsed and was flooded with water. Nkomo said government would now acquire steel pipes.
“We have now resorted to using steel pipes and we are currently in the process of acquiring the pipes, probably from South Africa. Once that has been done, work will progress,” he said.
The Mtshabezi/Umzingwane pipeline is seen as one of the solutions to easing Bulawayo’s perennial water problem.
Mtshabezi Dam, which is 100% full, holds 52 million cubic metres of water that is lying unused.
The pipeline once complete will draw water from Mtshabezi to Bulawayo.
Nkomo also spoke on the current water rationing that is underway in most of Bulawayo’s western suburbs.
He said the Bulawayo City Council had no option but to ration.