Disgruntled residents protest over lack of water supply as Joburg Water blames Rand Water

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Joburg Water’s acting senior manager Kagiso Rabene did not yield any positive results as no agreement was reached.
Joburg Water’s acting senior manager Kagiso Rabene did not yield any positive results as no agreement was reached.
Deaan Vivier

After three weeks of no water, the community of Robertsham and Southdale, in the south of Johannesburg, marched to the Joburg Water depot, demanding immediate water reconnection.

The disgruntled community members said enough was enough and they could not survive without water.

READ: Joburg's water supply: how infrastructure plays a role

The community has complained that, despite paying rates and taxes every month, they are not receiving rebates for using other sources of water.

Community member Mehmood Ally told City Press that they had been surviving on borehole water for a long time and had to pay for water tanks to come to the area.

Ally said:

The excuse from Joburg Water is that they are not getting enough supply from Rand Water and, therefore, the reservoir and towers do not have sufficient capacity to supply. The blame is shifted on to Rand Water infrastructure.

He said fitting water tanks and boreholes was not within everyone’s reach.

The southern suburbs community forum said: “If we continue to concede to the state, we will eventually cease to live and exist within the confines of our homes. If we don’t tackle this matter with fervent assertion, we must be prepared to be disrespected by the powers, as they continue to push the boundaries of mediocrity while squandering our tax. When water returns for a few days, it returns for about eight to 10 hours.”

However, the meeting with Joburg Water’s acting senior manager Kagiso Rabene did not yield any positive results, as no agreement was reached.

Nolwazi Dhlamini, the spokesperson for Joburg Water, said in a statement that the technical team was working around the clock to get systems back on track following a pump failure at Rand waters Eikenhof system on Monday.

By Thursday night, Dhlamini said they had increased the number of roaming water tankers to 28. 

She said:

These water tankers will continue serving areas that are experiencing critically low levels to no water. Both the Helen Joseph and the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospitals’ water tanks are at 100% capacity.

Rand Water spokesperson Makenosi Maroo said vandalism of infrastructure had contributed to the city's water woes. He added that the municipality must take accountability for the lack of water supply. 

“Some municipalities like Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Mfolozi also experienced water supply shortages. We can’t be at fault,” Maroo said

READ: Water disruptions to last for six days, after power trip leaves reservoirs critically low

The community will meet again over the weekend to decide on their next course of action and try to link up with other nearby communities who are facing the same problem and find a solution. 

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