Six days without water

2011-08-24 00:00

RESIDENTS of Underberg and Himeville are fed up with the inconsistent water supply they say they have endured for the past two years. They declare that the situation has become worse recently because they sometimes go without water for 12 days in a month.

Huck Orban, owner of The Lemon Tree restaurant in Underberg, told The Witness last night that residents do not know when they will be without water “because as I am speaking to you right now we are running out of water”.

He said that last week they had not had water for six days in a row.

“Our rates are more expensive than anywhere else in KwaZulu-Natal, but when we are not getting an essential service like water why are we paying such exorbitant rates?”

Orban said that in those five days about six restaurants could not wash dishes, three hair salons could not attend to their customers, two hotels and 30 guest establishments could not run baths and some 3 000 ratepayers could not flush their toilets.

Also adversely affected were another 120 businesses, the Underberg Public Clinic, Riverview Hospital, several doctors’ consulting rooms and surgeries and a host of emerging small businesses, hawkers and street vendors.

Orban said that in the months before the collapse of service delivery Underberg and Himeville had experienced regular disruptions of their water supply and sanitation management.

Sisonke District Mayor Mluleki Ndobe said they are aware of the problem.

“We have injected R15 million towards upgrading the water infrastructure … these problems are expected to happen,” said Ndobe.

He said other supply problems may have been caused by the striking workers who sabotaged the water pumps.

Ndobe said the municipality has posted security officers at strategic water plants to ensure that residents are not inconvenienced by the actions of the striking workers.

Provincial Democratic Alliance leader Sizwe Mchunu confirmed that charges of sabotage were laid on Friday at the Himeville police station by DA councillor Dave Adam and residents and tourism and business leaders in the town.

Said Ndobe, “Water valves have been shut down in some areas for over 24 hours while there have been further acts of sabotage … we believe that this has subsequently been repaired by a private contractor.”

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