Greytown dry after people ‘did not heed warnings’

2016-06-16 13:00

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Pietermaritzburg - Greytown’s taps will run completely dry from Sunday, and residents will be forced to survive off water supplied in tanks placed around the town.

It was revealed yesterday that the move was made to preserve reserves that would be depleted within two weeks if water continued to be supplied through the town’s taps.

Umvoti Water’s Brian Walker said the news was announced at a meeting between the Umzinyathi District Municipality, uThukhela Water and the Water Affairs Department yesterday.

“After Sunday morning’s supply from the taps, the water will be switched off and the town will have to live off the water tanks.

“There were originally 85 tanks around Greytown. However, several have either been stolen or vandalised, so there are between 60 and 70 tanks left,” he said.

Walker said each tank could only be filled once a day for people to use.

“The drought was not taken seriously and water was abused, and now we have a serious problem on our hands.”

He said Greytown residents, who currently only receive water from 4 am to 8 am daily, would have to be “extremely cautious” of how much water they use, as they would have to travel to a tank every time they needed water.

“If water continued to be supplied through taps every day, we would only have a two-week supply.

“Now that the water has been switched off, we have stretched the supply to six weeks.”

He said Greytown had been busy with a contract that would alleviate the situation. However, it had been put on hold and he hoped it would be off the ground after the six weeks were up.

Gretown resident and businesswoman owner Jenny Cowie said the news was “a bit of a bombshell”.

“The situation was absolutely not handled well.

“What has happened now is abysmal and moronic,” she said.

Another Greytown resident, who would not be named, said there was no policing of the water tanks, which had allowed people to steal and vandalise the facilities.

The resident said that many people had not taken the drought seriously, and alleged that tanker drivers were selling the water to residents and pocketing the money.

Neither Umvoti Local Municipality nor Umzinyathi District Municipality could be reached for comment at the time of going to print yesterday.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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