Dam­aged pipe leaves lo­cals with­out water

Tough hol­i­day sea­son for res­i­dents re­ly­ing on tankers for the pre­cious re­source

Pretoria News - - METRO - RUDZANI MATSHILI [email protected]

THE heavy rains of De­cem­ber are for most a dis­tant mem­ory, but for thou­sands of res­i­dents in the far east of Tsh­wane, the prob­lems are far from over.

They con­tinue to suf­fer water prob­lems as a re­sult of the dam­age to a key pipe­line which has left them with­out water.

Ar­eas af­fected are Re­filwe, Cul­li­nan, Ray­ton, Pe­tra Di­a­mond Mine and Zon­der­wa­ter Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to sup­plier Ma­galies Water, there will not be a per­ma­nent fix un­til next month.

Ma­galies Water has in the mean­time looked for a tem­po­rary so­lu­tion to ad­dress the dam­age to the 210m water sup­ply pipe­line at the Wilge Dam while the City of Tsh­wane pro­vides in­terim re­lief by dis­patch­ing water tankers to the af­fected ar­eas.

Speak­ing to the Pre­to­ria News, act­ing mayor Abel Tau said there were some new de­vel­op­ments.

Res­i­dents told the Pre­to­ria News they were ad­versely af­fected by the on­go­ing sit­u­a­tion and were re­ly­ing on the water tankers for drink­ing water.

Katlego Mokone of Re­filwe Ex­ten­sion 1 said the pe­riod of the water cuts had not been com­mu­ni­cated to them, say­ing she had to find out on so­cial me­dia from fel­low res­i­dents that it could go on for months.

Even be­fore the re­cent loss of water, the water in the area was not safe for con­sump­tion as it ap­peared to have a brown colour and metal­lic taste, and peo­ple of­ten fell ill af­ter drink­ing it, she said.

How­ever, the city has said that the water prob­lem was due to man­ganese but was only aes­thetic, and the water was not a health risk.

“The re­cent months have re­ally been tough for us as res­i­dents. Be­fore the taps ran dry, we were faced with a prob­lem of water that was con­tam­i­nated… but at least then, you could do laun­dry, flush the toi­let and clean with the water.

“But now, no water at all. We spent the fes­tive hol­i­days un­der tough cir­cum­stances, hav­ing to carry heavy buck­ets ev­ery time we needed water. We were re­ally hop­ing that when they fi­nally fix the pipe­line they would also fix the prob­lem of hav­ing brown water com­ing out,” she said. Another res­i­dent, Karabo Nkadi­meng, said it had been a tough hol­i­day sea­son with­out water, but he was grate­ful for the tankers bring­ing fresh water.

Re­ports were also com­ing from Zon­der­wa­ter Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices that pris­on­ers had to carry and share buck­ets of water.

How­ever, the fa­cil­ity spokesper­son Pa­trick Thobe­jane de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, say­ing Zon­der­wa­ter has bore­hole water.

“Prior to the water shed­ding, we sup­plied fresh water to of­fend­ers through­out the work­ing hours dur­ing the day at both cen­tre’s court yards.”

“From De­cem­ber 13 2019 up and un­til 20, the process of water stor­age started and was saved in our own reser­voir, this af­ter be­ing in­formed of the im­pend­ing water cri­sis for Zon­der­wa­ter Man­age­ment Area.

In ad­di­tion, Thobe­jane said: “Also, water was sup­plied from our bore­holes with tankers and stor­age tanks, while ad­di­tional water sup­ply sys­tems were in­stalled from our main bore­hole sys­tem to both cor­rec­tional cen­ters. In­mates could and can still col­lect as many and as much buck­ets of water dur­ing the day as they wanted es­pe­cially for drink­ing pur­poses.

BON­GANI SHILUBANE African News Agency (ANA)

RES­I­DENTS of Re­filwe, Karabo Nkadi­meng and Thato Choeu fetch­ing water from water tankers af­ter their taps went dry. |

KARABO Nkadi­meng shows that there is no water com­ing out of his tap. SHILUBANE African News Agency (ANA) BON­GANI

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