[DEBATE] : (Fwd) French state helps Jo'burg install pre-paid meters
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Apr 11 21:02:45 BST 2006
(Suez is the main force in Ondea, casually mentioned below. I'm not sure if
it is trying so hard to win a 25 year extension of the contract in June,
given all the problems it's experienced in the townships. But if not, this
is rather coincidental timing for the parent imperialist's executive
committee of the bourgeoisie to step in.)
France throws weight behind Operation Gcin'amanzi
Impressed with the water savings being made through Operation Gcin'amanzi,
France has committed itself to supporting the programme.
April 5, 2006
By Ndaba Dlamini
FRANCE is committed to supporting Operation Gcin'amanzi, a Joburg Water
project aimed at replacing leaking water pipes and ageing infrastructure in
Soweto, over the next five years.
These were the words of the French minister for co-operation and
development, Brigitte Girardin, during a site visit of the project in
Chiawelo on Monday, 3 April. Girardin said French co-operation in the areas
of sanitation and road infrastructure in developing countries was a
"The City of Johannesburg can rest assured that France is committed to
improving the lives of the city's residents. What we have seen of the
project developments thus far is satisfactory and we should persevere in
this direction of active co-operation."
The meeting between the French delegation and Joburg Water officials was
part of efforts to develop closer ties with the French embassy concerning
improving service delivery in Johannesburg.
In January the City's treasury department announced a loan of R320-million
from France's Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), to be used by
Johannesburg Water to complete the installation of water meters in Soweto as
part of Operation Gcin'amanzi.
Giving an overview of the project, the managing director of Joburg Water,
Gerald Dumas, said the R450-million programme was aimed at reducing
unaccounted for water loss, which cost the City about R20-million a month.
"Water infrastructure in Soweto is about 100 years old and the project
endeavours to replace all ageing water pipes - which are the main cause of
loss of water. The project [also] aims to install 170 000 prepaid water
meters in the township's households."
This would lead to savings of up to R158-million a year as well as
drastically reducing households' water and sanitation bills, Dumas
Already much has been done to solve pressing water service delivery issues.
After the establishment of the utility in 2001, Joburg Water signed a
management contract with a specialist water and sanitation management
consortium led by the French-based Ondeo Services, to place a 12-member
technical assistance team in the utility.
The launch of Operation Gcin'amanzi in September 2003 had also benefited the
residents of Soweto, Dumas said. It had created 1 600 jobs in Soweto,
reduced water bills by about R100 a household and created about R26-million
worth of business related to Joburg Water's operations in the township.
After a short presentation on the utility's history and Operation
Gcin'amanzi, Girardin was taken on a tour of Chiawelo to inspect some of the
work being done.
Lizzy Chauke, a sub-contractor to Joburg Water responsible for installing
prepaid water meters, took the minister through the process of installing
water-saving flashing systems and piping. At the end of the tour Girardin
said she was "very impressed" with the operation.
"We hope to make further contacts the next time we visit the city to
establish areas where we can strike partnerships in development service
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