ANGRY community members from Henley have accused the Msunduzi Municipality of undermining them and not taking them seriously when it comes to service delivery.
Community members blocked the road with burning tyres and trees on Monday as they demanded running water in their taps. They say they have been without running water since 2016 and they have been relying on unreliable water tankers to supply them with water.
One community member, who spoke to Echo on condition of anonymity, said that since the water problem started the municipality has been making empty promises, saying that they would fix the problem but never doing so.
“We are suffering everyday because of the water. We get water from the water tankers and on top of that we must pay the water tankers for supplying us with water.
“We pay R250 per jojo tank, which is not fair. If you do not have money to pay the water tanker, that means you will not have water.
“We want to know why we haven’t had water for such a long time? We are suffering for water but there areas where the water is running out of taps day and night,” said the frustrated resident.
Another resident said that the water that they pay for from the water tankers is sometimes dirty and sometimes the water tankers do not come to the area so residents are forced to go without.
“That water is not for drinking; it is not healthy and it is going to make us sick.
“Before you can drink that water you need to purify it first otherwise you are going to get sick.
“When you are using the water you must be careful and make sure that you save some because you do not know when the water tanker is going to come back again.”
Community members say that what is making them even more angry is that they receive a water bill from the municipality every month.
“We pay about R300 or R400 for water that we do not have. If we you do not pay the bill it accumulates the following month, and that is why we always make sure that we pay,” said one community member.
The community say they have a number of problems in this area but they want the municipality to focus on the water issue because it is a priority. Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the municipality is aware of the constraints of potable water supply to the community of Vulindlela.
“We are working jointly with Umgeni Water to upgrade the entire Vulindlela system in the long term. In the short term, the municipality is trying to supply water to all communities but alternating supply where technically possible and augmenting [water supply] with the supply of hired and internal water tankers,”she said.
Mafumbatha said the municipality was not officially aware of tankers or tanker drivers that are selling water to customers, which she said is illegal.
“We appeal to any residents to come forward with proof so that necessary processes can be followed to ensure this gross misconduct stops,” she ended.