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Sewpacksa Shebeen and the package plant industry

SEWPACKSA - The Sewage Package Plant Suppliers Association

The sewer treatment package plant industry, prior to 2010, when SEWPACKSA was formed, was in terrible state. In about 2003, Durban Metro found they had approved 66 wastewater package plants within the eThekweni boundaries, that had failed hopelessly, and placed an immediate moratorium on all new sewage systems installation applications. There were only three suppliers in Durban at that time, with Scarab having only had one trial system installed, that was performing very well.

A newsletter was started following the 2003 Durban Metro moratorium fiasco, because we wanted the public to know more. I recall Mark Ross from Lilliput requested from Durban Metro that information offered to the public should be restricted, as the public already knew too much, and most information was being manipulated to paint a gloomy picture.  Rather than keep the public ill-informed or even misinformed, we felt that the whole saga needed to be exposed, and those suppliers that were protected, and even supported, could no longer hide their ugly deeds.  

We were very fortunate to have been included in the moratorium process, because it gave us some very privileged and intimate information. Another supplier claimed that his type of systems may require up to 2 years to achieve compliance with the water act, and that his product should be allowed more time. DWAF requires systems to comply within 30 days, and this was quickly clarified. To our knowledge, none of this supplier's systems ever complied.

 

Sewpacksa Inauguration

In about 2010, a sewage treatment package plant association was formed, named SEWPACKSA, so as to offer the authorities, and the general public a self regulating organization, which would serve the best interests of the industry. However, we felt it served those few bad apples who, according to the constitution, could and would have been protected from criticism from other members. The leaders, generally, should have been squeaky clean, but weren't.This association was nothing more than a shebeen (see note below)

From about 18 or so active sewpacksa members in 2010, it's noted there were only about 3 or 4 remained the last time the website was online. 

Sewage Package plant AssociationSewpacksa - Founding Members

" SEWPACKSA has in the past year introduced a complaints procedure for handling of complaints. Mark Ross, SEWPACKSA Chairman says one of the negative issues that historically surrounded this sector of the water industry were unsubstantiated 'wild' supplier claims that to the layman were impressive, but from a process perspective totally misleading." Ref https://cisp.cachefly.net/assets/articles/attachments/49169_main.pdf 

Associations are designed to promote the interests of the industry and to offer the public some assurance on quality, fit for purpose products and recourse should things go wrong. In the case of SEWPACKSA, we saw the association as a vehicle to keep the status quo. We see the eventual demise of the association was not as a result of Scarab's reluctance to participate.  Rather, Scarab's success was a result of not participating in the association.

We have always stood out from the crowd. We are different. Our sewage treatment systems offer the very best in performance and reliability.  Rugged and Reliable. And free from the stench of associations of ill repute.

"Saxonwold shebeen - an illusive and illicit drinking house in an upmarket suburb, frequented by politicians and policy makers".

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