No water for 25 days and counting: Bethal's pipe of hope brings relief

For the past 25 days, the town of Bethal and the nearby Emzinoni township in Mpumalanga have been without water.

The lack of water is just one of the many issues facing the town's residents, who say there is little service delivery from the Govan Mbeki municipality. 

Marietjie Fourie, the owner of a guesthouse in the town, said she knew she had to do something to help residents after the taps ran dry.

READ: SA has over 40 'critical' sewerage plants under close watch

"We can still cope with the unreliable supply of electricity and even the horrible condition of roads throughout the town. But to be without water for days on end is a no-no."

She said service delivery fell apart slowly but surely when the town's municipality was incorporated into the Govan Mbeki municipality, based in Secunda. 

For Fourie, it was heartbreaking to see how desperate residents became, sitting day in and day out, waiting for some water to be delivered via a water tanker.

"I knew I had to help to relieve the situation. That is how my 'Pipe of Hope' came to be. I'm lucky enough to have a borehole on my property. I connected a hose pipe to it and left the end of the hosepipe on the pavement.

"Now anybody who needs water can just pitch up and fill their containers. They don't need to call beforehand. The only condition is that they must ensure the tap is closed when they leave."

Fourie says it is an emotional moment for her when she receives calls from residents, pleading for water.

"It is embarrassing and degrading for any resident to beg for water. With the 'Pipe of Hope', residents can now anonymously help themselves to water."


Lorraine Knoese and her family fill up at the 'pipe of hope'. (Supplied)

She said her borehole pump ran continuously until Monday morning when the pressure pump packed up.

After she posted a message on her Facebook page informing residents there would be no water until the pump was repaired, she received a call from a local electrician, Herman van Zweel.

Van Zweel immediately offered his services for free and within an hour the pressure pump was fixed.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Do you think South Africa has descended into a mafia state?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, that’s a bit extreme
6% - 131 votes
Yes, and it’s becoming normalised
94% - 1923 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.