Milnerton Lagoon Update: Steady progress on Potsdam underway as Council set to approve contracts by end of March 2023

Issued by Cayla Murray MPL – DA Constituency Head, Blaauwberg-Durbanville 2
14 Mar 2023 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find soundbite here

The DA welcomes the steady progress being made on the development of the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Plant. The scheme is a priority and one of the largest infrastructure-led development projects for the City of Cape Town, totalling at over R5 billion.

It will play a key role in addressing the serious environmental issues experienced by Milnerton Lagoon and Diep River.

Last night, the City of Cape Town hosted a robust quarterly engagement on the Milnerton Lagoon and Diep River where officials unpacked and engaged with residents on progress made. According to the current programme:

• The anticipated contract signing for the Design-Build of Mechanical and Electrical Works for the Upgrade and Expansion and the Civil, Building and Demolition Works for the Upgrade and Expansion will both take place in mid-April 2023.

• The anticipated construction for both contracts are set to start in May 2023.

• The anticipated start of the trial operation period is November 2026.

• The anticipated completion of the contracts is November 2027.

The construction of Potsdam is of course a long-term project which is anticipated to be completed in 4 years. In the meantime, City officials are implementing a range of short-term interventions which include plant equipment and infrastructure improvements such as maintenance of inlet works, replacing and refurbishing reactors, and settling sewage pumps and walls.

Special attention is also being paid to the ecology of the waterbodies through ongoing pond cleanings and refurbishments scheduled, as well as reed bed pond valves being installed.

Considering the ongoing energy crisis and rolling blackouts, officials explained that sewer pump stations have permanent backup power installed through generations ensuring that Koeberg, Table View East and West, as well as Phoenix pump stations, are fully operational.

Going forward, we will be hosting a community engagement in Joe Slovo with community leaders to promote awareness around and identify solutions to address dumping – which not only creates issues around public health but further contributes to the blocking of stormwater drains which run into these waterbodies.

While there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done to address the serious environmental issues experienced by Milnerton Lagoon and Diep River, the ongoing short-term and long-term interventions, as well as quarterly engagements with the affected residents are a very positive step.