update


The cause of dam drainage made public

Previously, Dave Baxter, chairperson of the Panorama Residents' Association conducted a site visit to the dam. Photo: Siso Naile.

 

The much-anticipated meeting aimed at holding responsible the person or organisations involved in the mysterious drainage of the Haak en Steek dam took place on the evening of 14 May at Panorama Primary School.

The school hall was packed with concerned residents who were eagerly waiting for an explanation about what really led to the disappearance of the dam water.

Residents woke up to an almost dry dam on 28 April and the cause was unknown.

Ward 126 councillor David Brand explains the mystery behind the Haak en Steek dam drainage. Photo: Siso Naile.

Rand Water and Maziya Construction, whose representatives had a lot to explain, were initially blamed for the disaster which ended the lives of fish and other animals that survived in the ecosystem.

Read the initial article here: Damn, where is the dam?

One of the big questions was why would the dam disappear just when Maziya started working on 9th Avenue, close to the dam. Responding to some of the tough questions, Howard Sibanda, the contract manager, said according to their analysis, there was a structure that collapsed in the dam, causing the water to sink.

While the floor assumed it was due to the blasting during the excavations, Ward 126 councillor David Brand revealed a rather jaw-dropping finding as he had conducted research into the dam.

Ward 126 David Brand talking to Rand Water and Maziya Construction personnel. Photo: Siso Naile.

In his explanation, Brand said, “About 18 years ago, it [the dam] was built as a retention dam because 9th Avenue used to flood over a large area, which brought silt over the road from the Constantia area. Joburg Roads Agency (JRA) lifted the road and put stormwater drains underneath it, which concentrated the water into one flow which would eventually damage the Juskei River. Consequently, they built the retention dam with the idea it would fill up when there was rain and drain afterwards, slowly releasing the water about 100 metres downriver in a gentler manner, and then remain empty until the next rain.”

Brand said the dam was now working as it was supposed to when it was built.

Over the years, residents began to believe that the dam was a normal dam as many grew up near the site of the dam as the area developed.

Brand described what must have happened to the retention dam to cause it to retain water over the years. “It looked as if it was a dam because someone had blocked the outlet with an estate agent board and concrete. From there it filled up and someone put fish in it and used the dam to fish,” he explained.

Also Read: Rand Water to investigate dam crisis

As the attendees were still upset at losing the dam, Brand said the Department of Environmental Management in the City of Johannesburg would investigate whether the dam could be modernised, so that it would remain wet – not so that one could swim in it because it would be fairly shallow, but enough to create a little wetland ecosystem that would encourage frogs, birds and fish.

Brand emphasised that the investigation would be done via JRA and should the proposal be approved, he can then ask for the money to build the dam at the next IDP, which is in the next financial year.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

  AUTHOR
Siso Naile
Journalist

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