WATCH: Opportunity comes gushing as Capetonians scoop up water from burst pipe

2018-01-23 18:47
Haswell Phili gets his bottle filled. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Haswell Phili gets his bottle filled. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Opportunity came gushing in Rondebosch, Cape Town, on Tuesday when a pipe burst, leaving endless litres of water running for hours.

Armed with buckets, Oros bottles and Tupperware, locals caught the water as it streamed down Kromboom Road.

The water had been running since the early hours of the morning.

According to mayoral committee member for energy, informal settlements, water and waste services Xanthea Limberg, the depot received the report at 06:10.

“First line response investigated and shut off six valves at 07:30 to minimise water wastage. [A] specialised repair team arrived on site at 08:45,” she said.

Water was restored at 15:45.

READ: Coalition stands in opposition of City’s water restrictions

Gardener Haswell Phili said he grabbed two containers to catch some water when he noticed it streaming down the road.

"This doesn't have to go to waste – there is almost nothing left so we can't let it just run away," he said, clutching about four litres of water.

"It's not super clean, so I can't make a cup of coffee with it, but it's usable. If I use this, my other reusable water can also last longer."

Dams at 26.5%

He does all he can to reduce his water usage, including using his shower water – which he keeps down to a trickle – to flush his toilet.

"Me? I don't have anything to do with water wastage. I do the right thing and I try to save."

The burst water pipe in Kromboom Road, Rondebosch. (Tammy Petersen)


Limberg said the city had made “large strides” in the past 10 years to reduce water losses.

“Repair processes have been streamlined, and a focus on preventative maintenance has reduced the burst rate from 63,9 bursts per 100 km of piping in the 2010/2011 financial year to currently below 30 bursts per 100 km according to most recent figures. 

“With a network that would stretch from here to Australia, it is not realistic to think that leaks could be completely eliminated. All water lost is regrettable, but the City has the results to show that this is being taken seriously.”

Dam levels in the Western Cape are currently at 26.5%, with a slight chance of light rain forecast for the current week.

Dam levels are critically low, and when storage reaches 13.5%, the City will turn off most taps, leaving only vital services with access to water.

The City's previous target was 87 litres per person per day, which it said only 39% of residents were currently adhering to.

On Monday Premier Helen Zille stressed that should all residents keep their water usage below 50 litres per person per day, a disaster could be avoided.

"The dams will turn at 15%. Day Zero will hit when the dams go down to 13.5%, so you can see how narrow the margin is."

Read more on:    cape town  |  drought  |  water crisis

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.