WATER OUTAGES RAISE IRE OF RESIDENTS
CONTINUED water outages in Komani have continued to anger residents in the past months with the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) confirming this week that the Xonxa Water Augmentation Project, which was to have become operational at the end of last year, was facing delays.
Residents took to Facebook to express anger, with some residents of Ezibeleni claiming to have been without water for up to a week while others in Victoria Park, Newvale, Bergsig and Top Town reported outages of up to three days.
Temperatures soared above 40°C in the town at the weekend and taps ran dry.
The Rep reported (“Running Dry”, September 22 2017) that CHDM had said the Xonxa Dam project was expected to near completion by the end of last year.
The multimillion-rand project was to relieve shortages in the area. The Waterdown Dam was at 72.8% on January 1, down from 76% in 2017.
CHDM spokesman Lonwabo Kowa said on Wednesday the anticipated completion date of the Xonxa project had lapsed due to numerous challenges and was still in progress.
“There is currently a contractual dispute on this project. However, the institution is putting measures in place to ensure that the project is completed by the end of March. We are therefore unable to provide further comment on the matter as it is still sub judice.“
Border Kei Chamber of Business Komani chairwoman Adre Bartis said the chamber had been communicating with CHDM since just after Christmas as it was found that various residential areas, including Victoria Park and Ezibeleni, were without water on a regular basis without communication from CHDM. “This later affected the town and surrounding suburbs as well.”
Bartis said she had contacted CHDM mayor Kholiswa Vimbayo to put related information on the outages on the district authority’s website, which was done.
“However, up to today we still do not have a proper water [cut-off] schedule and with the temperatures soaring, people need to know what they are in for so they can properly plan for any shortages.”
Bartis said it was not true that the town had run out of water and that she was told by CHDM that water levels were low with not enough pressure to pump water to the various areas.
“The sump had to be filled and water was then pushed through afterwards. The staff in the control room need to be properly informed so as not to add further frustration to the community who deserve answers.”
She said an explanation on when water would be available from the Xonxa Dam was long overdue and that the municipality needed to keep the lines of communication open.
In addition, some major leaks in town were not being attended to, which was a major concern during a water crisis.
“CHDM needs to call a meeting with all affected communities and discuss the plan of action and rectification.”
Ezibeleni ward 6 councillor Caesar Gwampi said, “The Unathi Mkhefa area has been without water for over three months and we have reported this to the municipality who told us there was nothing they could do because the Bonkolo Dam levels were too low. The trucks which usually deliver water to areas, have also been scarce.”
Kowa confirmed the water crisis due to the drought which had led to reservoirs being under strain, resulting in water shortages. The Bonkolo Dam was at 10%. CHDM was implementing an action plan to address challenges. The water cut-off schedule remains in place from 8pm to 5am.
HOW? Mystery surrounds the origin of this huge rock which apparently flattened a street sign in Robinson Road in the Komani CBD over the festive period. If you have any information about its origins, let us know on sonjar@ tisoblackstar.co.za