South African Army sappers restore water services in the Eastern Cape


South African Army Engineers in the Eastern Cape have helped a local municipality fix burst pipes that had left many without water for days.

The engineers are detached with 14 South African Infantry Battalion in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, in preparation for their deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under Operation Mistral. Under the command of Captain SR Habede and Captain S Xweso, the sappers (Army engineers) assisted the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality with a water cut problem, reports Captain K Setsiba, SA Army Engineer Formation.

It was found that the water issue resulted from eroded water pipes and the water cut affected Mthatha Airport, 14 South African Infantry Battalion, and three villages (Ncise, Kaplan and KwaDlomo). Water was unavailable from 16 to 21 April, “with no hope of it being sorted out soon.”

Setsiba reported that it was found that the water cut resulted from a broken pipe, “which is a common problem with communities around the country especially looking at the growing population which results in the increased amount of water usage.” In order to assist the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality and sort the problem out as swiftly as possible, SA Army engineers mobilised a team of seven sappers who took approximately four hours to sort the matter at hand out.

The sappers were commended for the good job they had done, and for using their time and skills to sort an issue that was out of their scope of work.