Water cuts: mixed messages

2011-11-25 00:00

WATER outages throughout the city yesterday had residents raging against the Msunduzi Municipality for not providing water tankers.

Compounding their frustration is that they were given conflicting explanations about what caused the cuts and when their water would be turned on again.

Ward 35 committee member Memood Omar said he was getting different explanations from different people in the council and he did not know what to tell residents when they contacted him.

Another resident who simply gave her name as Beverly said she was given a different explanation each time she called the municipality. First she was told that the municipality had no water tankers; later she was told that there were tankers, but that the water department does not want to deliver water.

She advised the municipality to inform residents whenever there is a crisis and there should be regular updates about the siuation.

“This is simple communication. We are sick and tired of an indifferent municpality that can’t be bothered while we suffer.”

Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma confirmed that there was more than one water problem in the city. He said there were two distinct issues. In places like Edendale and Ashdown there were planned cuts by Umgeni Water that led to further problems, which extended the time residents were without water. In Copesville, parts of Eastwood and Mountain Rise there is a problem with a malfunctioning valve.

“Usually this is easy to spot and fix. However, the problem was compounded with the rain. By late yesterday we realised that the problem will take longer to fix so plans were made for water tankers to go out after 6.30 pm,” Zuma said.

He added that the municipality does have water tankers but these are in use in parts of the city throughout the day

Omar called The Witness after 7.30 pm to say there was not a water tanker in sight. The Witness was innundated with calls as angry residents tried to find out what was going on and when their water would be restored.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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