The City of Cape Town says the destruction of a R3.5m excavator is the latest incident causing delays in the delivery of its R162m Baden Powell Drive bulk water supply project in Khayelitsha.
The project, which the city said will strengthen supply to thousands of Khayelitsha residents, is a decade in the making, but the city said attacks on the building site, land occupations, Covid-19 and protests have delayed the expected completion date from November 2021 to March 2022.
This week the city condemned the malicious damage to property, but assured residents they were committed to “staying on track with the work to enhance service delivery”.
“A major bulk infrastructure project designed to boost water supply in Khayelitsha was again targeted amid violent protest action in the area last week. An excavator belonging to a city contractor, valued at approximately R3.5m, was set alight.”
The city said the contractor was performing specialist micro-tunnelling services across the N2 and Baden Powell Drive to connect new bulk water infrastructure to the existing Khayelitsha supply,
Previous attacks on excavators assigned to this project late last year resulted in approximately R6.5m in damage, said the city.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato also lashed out against the vandals, claiming the attacks were committed by individuals “falsely claiming to represent the interests of vulnerable communities”.
“The city’s water and sanitation department and its contractors will nonetheless continue doing everything possible to ensure progress is sustained, and residents of Enkanini, Makaza, Kuyasa, Harare and surrounding areas are able to enjoy the enhanced services as soon as possible,” said Plato.