No water since December

2017-07-12 06:02

NO water for seven months - that is the nightmare for residents from Ezinketheni near Northdale who have not had a drop of water since December.

Residents have to walk long distances to get to water sources or pay to hire vans to transport water into the area.

Some residents said they spend much of their working and sleeping time in queues waiting to collect water.

They said the main pipes supplying water to Jojo tanks in the area­ have not been feeding into the tanks due to the low water pressure because of suspected illegal water connections.

A resident, Mpume Masikane, said she has resorted to fetching enough water to last her family the whole month for cooking, washing, cleaning and bathing.

“My husband works far from home. When he is on leave he has to ensure that we have enough water to last us until he comes back home.

“The last time I reported the matter to the municipality’s call centre I was told the issue will be sorted out … months later nothing has been done,” she said.

Masikane said when she spoke to Ward 30 councillor Renesha Jugimohan­ she was told that the matter would not be resolved until people in the area stop connecting to the water pipes illegally.

“She told me we were not the only ones facing water shortages. She said she would try and get the municipality to dispatch water tankers to the area.”

However, Masikane said this did not happen.

Pensioner Ellen Ndlovu (63) also shared her plight.

“I had to wake up at 11 pm last night [Sunday] to go and fetch water­ to avoid the long queues. My last round was around 3 am.

“I can’t afford to hire a car to go and fetch water.

“I rely on my social grant money, and it’s not enough.

“My legs can barely carry me anywhere.

“I suffer every day and risk my life,” said Ndlovu.

When The Witness visited the area yesterday we were greeted by locals pushing wheelbarrows transporting water to their homes.

John Gwala said they have called the municipality numerous times.

“Whenever we call the call centre they promise that the issue will be sorted out.

“We all have reference numbers­ and when we do follow-ups it’s the same story over and over again.”

Gwala said he sometimes has to pay large amounts to hire a van to fetch water.

“It depends on the person you have hired.

“Some make you pay up to R200.

“What can you say, you need the water.”

He said they felt deserted by the municipality.

“We are starting to think our suffering forms part of their water-saving strategies.”

Jugimohan said the water department had confirmed that there were illegal water connections in the area.

These result in shortages.

“Officials are investigating and doing an inventory as to how many homes are connected.

“I will be calling a community meeting with residents in order to resolve the water shortages in the area.”

Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha corroborated Jugimohan’s statement, however, she said residents in the area “are receiving water via water tankers”.

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