Sand-blocked pumps to blame for weeks of no water - Mbombela municipality

2017-01-09 17:11
Water tap. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Water tap. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Mbombela - Excessive sand is blocking pumps at Rand Water in Mpumalanga following recent heavy rains, and some residents have not had water for the past two weeks.

"Please take note that Rand Water is experiencing abstraction [pumping] problems at the Crocodile River. There is less volume of water being produced at the plant and it is not enough to satisfy the demand," Mbombela Local Municipality spokesperson Joseph Ngala said. 

This follows a spate of protests recently in Kabokweni over water.

On Tuesday, locals blocked roads with burning tyres and debris, obstructing the entrance to the town.

Pienaar residents also vented their anger by taking to the streets. 

"The government will never stop failing and taking us for granted. How do they expect us to live without water? I am using a flushing toilet, it is worse as I have to approach my neighbour when nature calls," said angry resident Vusi Ngwamba.

READ: Sanco warns: 3 more months of rain is coming

'Matter of urgency'

Another local, Sbonelo Makamo, said: "This is really affecting us. The government keeps on telling us many stories. If they do not say sand has blocked the pumps, they will say they are busy investigating the matter, or it is because of illegal water connections."

Ngala said the City of Mbombela's department of water and sanitation was resolving the issue "as a matter of urgency".

"There will be updates as the issue is being resolved."

Ngala said affected areas include Pienaar, Hlau Hlau, Kanyamazane, Gutshwa and Kabokweni, where Themba Hospital is located.

According to the SA Weather Service, the area received 105.2mm of rain during December. 

Read more on:    mbombela  |  water
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