No-water woe continues

2007-11-16 00:00

Municipal manager Dumisani Vilakazi said the cause was a burst pipe that supplies water to the municipal reservoir - Umgeni Water's responsibility.

“We buy water in bulk from Umgeni Water and the water pipe that supplies our reservoir burst during a maintenance operation by Umgeni Water between Midmar Dam and the water purification works. We were, however, assured that the water pipe had been repaired on Wednesday afternoon and were expecting water supply to be back by evening,” said Vilakazi.

Residents who contacted The Witness yesterday were angered and frustrated by a lack of answers from the municipality about the water cut.

Umgeni Water's corporate stakeholder manager, Shami Harichunder, said rehabilitation work is under way. “We were undertaking a Midmar system rehabilitation and there were some complications with an ageing pipe, which required replacement. It was an unforeseen situation, otherwise we would have informed the municipality,” said Harichunder.

The Witness was inundated with calls and e-mails from residents of Howick, Hilton and some parts of Pietermaritzburg who were affected by the water supply disruption. Some areas had still not received a drop of water by yesterday morning.

At 10 am yesterday, Winterskloof and Mpophomeni had no water. Public institutions, schools and hospitals were badly affected. Residents complained that the municipality should have supplied water in mobile tankers.

Winterskloof resident Dennis Bailey said a local businessman came to the aid of patients at the Howick hospital.

“A local BEE emerging contractor and owner of Imbhodla Plant, Emmanuel Dlamini, volunteered his services to the hospital to try to alleviate the pressure brought upon it by the outage,” he said. Hospital management was grateful for Dlamini's move.

Residents also complained that calls made to the municipality were not answered, or they were sent from pillar to post and never received satisfactory answers about the problem.

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