First outage, now dry taps

2015-06-17 10:28
A woman walks with a bucket of water on her head in Mayor’s Walk. There has been intermittent water in the area for a week and locals have been forced to find other means of getting water.

A woman walks with a bucket of water on her head in Mayor’s Walk. There has been intermittent water in the area for a week and locals have been forced to find other means of getting water. (Jonathan Burton)

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A WEEK after having no electricity for four days, Prestbury and Napierville residents are now without water.

Residents said their taps have been dry since Sunday.

“If the municipality says a pipe burst then that’s fine but at least communicate with us. We haven’t been told what is going wrong or when the water will return. It’s just ridiculous that we are not told when things are happening,” said Hillside Road resident Brian Edwards.

Ward councillor Glenn McArthur said the water shortages in the area are a “common occurrence”.
“It’s just disappointing that the water department are not upfront with us. There is a serious lack of communication from so called managers.

“It is a disgrace that they don’t have the decency to communicate with us or send out water tankers for the residents,” said McArthur.

A Napierville resident, who did not wish to be named, said he and his family have been driving almost four times a day to fetch water from family in Hayfields.

“It is an inconvenience for us and our family. We can’t bath, cook or go to the toilet. It is absolutely pathetic because when the time comes for the people to make big placards and send us thousands of SMSes asking for votes then we hear from them but after that there’s no communication at all,” said the Napierville resident.

Visiting the reservoir above Napierville yesterday, The Witness spoke to a contracts manager about the water shortages in the area.

“Due to the high pressure of water rushing downhill from the reservoir above, some pressure valves may have malfunctioned causing high amount of water to rush down causing the high pressure. This resulted in the manifold that distributes water to break. The city is on it,” said the contracts manager, who did not wish to be named.
The manager said water should return in the day.

Prestbury resident Selwyn Clark said they have “become used to the water problems” and started filling up bottles of water for when taps run dry again.

“Now when there is water, we make sure we fill up whatever bottles we can and freeze the water. Then when there is no water, we can take these bottles out,” said Clark.

Another Napierville resident Sam van der Merwe said he is “gatvol” with the all the problems surrounding the area.
“If it is not electricity, then it is water. If not that then it is the filthy roads. Napierville seems like a forgotten place to the municipality. We are always the last to be taken care off and we are gatvol,’ he said.

Msunduzi Municipality were not available to respond at the time of going to print.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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