Laudium residents have been without water for three days, according to community representatives. The taps ran dry on Wednesday night, following low pressure in the area.
Activist Yusuf Abramjee took to social media to highlight the situation in the Pretoria community. He told News24 that around 20 000 people are currently affected in Laudium and surrounding areas such as Atteridgeville, Claudius and Itireleng.
"There is not one drop of water in the taps," he added.
Schools were forced to close on Friday due to the lack of water, Abramjee says.
According to ward councillor Farouk Essop, there has been no communication from the municipality to warn residents that the water would be cut off. He says he was informed that the water shortage was due to restrictions by Rand Water, but that the water utility has instead shifted the blame.
Diwali celebrations hampered
The community is preparing to celebrate the religious holiday of Diwali over the next few days, and these preparations have been hampered by the lack of water.
In a statement compiled by numerous community organisations in the area, it was stated: "We … and residents of Laudium wish to express our utter disgust at the way in which the authorities have treated this community over the last few days. We believe that our basic human rights have been violated with large sections of our community not having received any water in the past three days."
Essop also arranged water tankers to the affected communities, the statement said.
"Community members have assisted further to take the matter up with the Gauteng Premier, [Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu] and other senior government officials, and still we have no water … This is a humanitarian crisis that requires urgent and decisive action and we appeal to the relevant authorities to treat the matter as such."
Both Essop and Abramjee stated that they had contacted Gauteng Premier David Makhura to request that he intervene in the situation. However, Makhura's spokesperson, Vugo Mhaga, could not confirm this.
Essop added: "There has been no indication of when the water will be restored. The community is really fed up. I can’t get answers from anyone."
Several attempts to elicit comment from Rand Water were unsuccessful on Saturday.
At the time of publication, News24 had also not been able to reach the City of Tshwane for comment.