Water ‘thieves’ drain Jojo tanks

2016-06-29 06:00
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ACCORDING to a press release from Umvoti water service provider, Umzinyathi, in 24 days time Phase 2 water intervention will be in operation and the reticulation of water to the water treatment plant will be resumed with the early morning limited supply once again in operation.

Phase 2 should have been completed three weeks ago, but contractors downed tools due to payment problems. It is hoped that Umzinyathi District Municipality officials are monitoring this project on a daily basis to ensure that it is completed on 22 nd July as stated in this press release. It would be tragic to have a repeat of the Craigieburn pipe dream fiasco. Since the water reticulation system was shut down on 19 June the 84 Jojo tanks in Greytown and surrounds have been the lifeline for most residents. While the majority have been drawing just enough for their daily needs there are, since the cut-off of the water, a group of selfish, callous, anti-social people who are aggressively draining Jojos wherever they can.
While the tanks have been placed so residents in that area can fill, these “thieves” patrol the streets to fill as many containers as can fit on the back of a bakkie, or into an SUV.
Umvoti Municipality, which has not been proactive since the beginning of the water problems, is supposed to be monitoring the irregular usage, but its attitude from the beginning has been “we are not the water service provider, its up to Umzinyathi”.

In a press release Umzinyathi states: “Currently each tank has one tap installed and that was found to be insufficient as this causes a lot of fights among community members while filling up. As a result a second tap will be installed on tanks to prevent further confrontations and ensure an orderly and peaceful filling stations for the community.
“The Jojo tanks will be fastened adequately to prevent further theft and vandalism that has been experienced in the past.
“Greytown has been divided into two zones - Enhlalakahle Zone will be filled by four trucks doing two trips each (one load can fill up three Jojo tanks) from 5am to 7.30am daily.
“The Greytown zone will be filled by two trucks doing 10 trips each, from 5am to 3pm. The 84 Jojo tanks will only be filled up once a day, providing a supply of 420m3 per day from the Greytown Water Treatment Plant. Businesses will have to buy water from the district municipality and collect from the Makhabeleni Water Treatment Works.”

To the disappointment of a large number of residents the urgent meeting called by Operation Sakhe (bringing government services to the people), was cancelled last Friday.
Umvoti Council, despite assurances given to the public last May that monthly updates would be given at meetings or press statements issued, has not done so.
A special Umvoti Council statutory meeting was called for yesterday, but the subject of water was not on the agenda.

Residents, dependent on collecting water for their daily usage from a Jojo tank in their area are doing their utmost to cope with this serious situation, which is being compounded by the few who apparently believe that it is their “right” to drain or vandalise a Jojo tank.
Is it too much to ask them to consider the community, especially the aged and sick, and refrain from their greedy tactics of stealing water.

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