UMDM ‘wasting time’

2014-10-28 00:00

ANGER is mounting over uMgungundlovu District Municipality’s (UMDM) perceived inaction over a strike that has seen the municipality’s water service held to ransom over the past five days.

Irate residents, particularly in the Merrivale area who suffered two water cuts this weekend, accused the municipality of “pussyfooting” over the issue while they suffer.

The residents believe there is now strong evidence that water supplies are being sabotaged.

On Friday night there was a burst pipe in Merrivale that the municipality’s crack team fixed, but less than an hour after the water was restored it stopped again.

An investigation found that a fire hydrant in the vicinity had been opened fully, affecting the pressure and flow of water to household taps.

The same thing happened on Sunday night in a different part of Merrivale. The water supply was cut, it was fixed by the crack team and then hours later the supply stopped and another fire hydrant was found opened at full blast.

Other areas that did not have water yesterday included Mshwathi, Impendle and Howick.

Municipal manager Sbu Khuzwayo told The Witness the municipality had not sat back with its arms folded, saying they had gone to the Labour Court in Durban over the matter.

Khuzwayo said judgment was given yesterday afternoon, but he would present the outcome to the union first before releasing a statement today.

As has become the norm, UMDM once again apologised to residents for the water disruptions, saying they had sent out water tankers to all affected areas.

The municipality’s statement said: “The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs today continued to facilitate negotiations to end the current strike action by Samwu workers entering its fifth day.”

They urged people to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour, especially in the areas of water operations, to the police. They also asked residents to report service delivery interruptions and emergencies to their toll-free number 0800 864 911.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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