'It was dehumanising': Water supply to parts of Cape Town finally restored

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  • Parts of Cape Town were left without running water for more than 11 days.
  • This was due to a burst water pipe, according to the City of Cape Town.  
  • Water supply has since been restored.

After more than a week with no water, and having to deal with record high summer temperatures, residents of parts of Cape Town finally have water. 

The water cuts were because of a burst pipe, the City of Cape Town said. 

Some of the affected areas were Blue Downs, Brentwood Park, Camelot, Hagley, Highgate, Malibu Village, Nuwe Begin, Silversands, Summerville, Sunbird Park, Wembley and Wesbank.  

According to the City's mayoral committee member for water and sanitation, Zahid Badroodien, the repair team, on Wednesday at about 19:30, turned on the water mains to fill the pipe after the replacement of two lengths had been completed.

"Teams have worked non-stop since Monday to ensure the water supply was restored as quickly as possible to the community."

Residents told News24 of their frustration. 

A resident in Malibu Village, who asked not to be named, told News24 she and her family had been without water for more than 11 days.

"It is dehumanising. We've been without water since 15 January. We are only allowed to get 20 litres of water that sometimes needs to last us for more than two days because the water tank trucks are not in the area every day," she said.

READ | Residents queue for water amid dry taps in Cape Town's Eerste River during scorching weekend

"I don't know when I've had a decent bath or shower. I've had to cowboy wash because we just don't have enough water. We are three people in the house, we need to do washing, dishes, brush our teeth and try and wash ourselves while still sparing water for the next day because we don't know when the water tanks will be back," she said. 

Pipe

"What frustrates me even more is that the City is insisting that their team is working around the clock to fix the burst pipe. That is a blatant lie. After 17:00, the workers are gone. No one is on site fixing anything after that," she said. 

South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) member, Phumla Ngesi, said they were relieved the water had been restored, saying:

Living here was becoming more and more unbearable each day. Our toilets were overflowing, and smelling.

She added that, although they were happy about the water being restored, they wished the City did not take so long in repairing the pipe.

Badroodien thanked residents for their patience.

"Frustrations reached boiling point, but we pulled together, as a community, to support the most vulnerable - especially yesterday [Wednesday], with the distribution of donated water," he said.

"Personally, as the new MMC in the water and sanitation directorate, there have been many learning lessons for me. I will use these to engage with the officials in order to ensure that, should such a complex repair occur in the future, we are in a better position to respond in a way that services and protects the dignity of all our residents."

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