In the past Saxonwold has had many major and minor pipe bursts and water leaks. The water infrastructure has passed its sell-by date and now needs to be replaced. Over 10 kilometers of new pipes are to be laid along 21 Saxonwold roads. All the old water meters will be replaced along with air valves, fire hydrants and isolation valves. This will be done by trenching along the sidewalks and roads.
The project is estimated to cost R38,5 million and will take an estimated four months to complete. This is a substantial project and the City has decided to do this under the Vuku'phile Public Works Programme Contractor Learnership Programme. This approach was adopted for the Greenside pipe replacement project and worked well. A total of 26 small-scale learner contractors will be working on the project and who be mentored, managed and supervised by the engineering staff of the City. It is estimated that 260 labourers will be employed for this project.
The City held a public meeting to introduce the project to the public and a number of questions was asked:
Q: As the work will be done on the sidewalks how can we be sure that the existing bulk services (and fibre) will be protected from being damaged?
A: A organisation that specialises in finding underground bulk services will be employed to map out the hidden services before any digging commences.
Q: What security is there for residents given that there will be large workforce introduced into the suburb?
A: Every worker will be security-checked and registered completed with a nametag, and identifying clothing. Workers will be constantly supervised.
Q: What arrangements will there be for workers' toilets?
A: Portable toilets will be installed at every site.
Q: Will sidewalks be reinstated to the original condition?
A: Photographs will be taken and used to reinstate the sidewalk to the original condition.
Q: How will pipes be laid across roads where it is necessary?
A: A specialist company will be used to tunnel below the surface. Where necessary there will have to be a trench dug in the road. If this is necessary, this will be done at low traffic times.