Residents cry over unexpected water outages

Andile Ecalpar Nayika

On Wednesday morning, the 11 November, Phumlani Extension 2 and Phaphamani Location residents were shocked to wake up to waterless taps in their households and respected public areas.

Angry and dissatisfied members of these communities were shocked when they opened their taps only to get the flow of air.  The Joza Location area has been experiencing a lot of water outages in the past few months until now. 

It is the first water outage in the areas of Phumlani and Phaphamani Location this year and no prior notice of this sudden change had been issued to the communities by the authorities.

55-year-old frustrated senior resident, Fundiswa Gladys Fulani, had to wake up in the early hours to fetch water from a distant public tap in the neighbouring informal settlement of Phaphamani Location.  “We were surprised last night when we found no water in our taps”, said tired Fulani with a water-bucket on her head. “This is totally unacceptable and the Municipality did not alert us, we pay rates and this is what we get”, she added.

Respected households, especially workers and scholars had a hard time preparing their morning.  Mary Waters High School student, Sive Kosi, who was exhausted from travelling afar to get the water, had only a few words to say.  “There was no notice of these outages but now we have to go far to get the water”, said Kosi.

Community elder and municipal employee, N. Fangu, was also disturbed by the outages as he was not even alerted by his fellow colleagues.  “I meet with those responsible for water supply regularly at work but none mentioned a thing to me”.

58-year-old senior resident and S.A.P.S. Garage employee, Ben Khwenxe, who had been delayed by the outages, was in a rush to get to work on time.  The unhappy Khwenxe had to use his van to fetch the water from the only Phaphamani Location’s working public tap.  “The Municipality must take us seriously and do things on time”, said Khwenxe.

Dambile Makeleni (47), who also had to travel afar to fetch the water, said “The Municipality should at least have sent us one of those water trucks for relief”.  Phaphamani residents were also experiencing the same problems.  About seven of all taps in the area were out of water this morning.

In response to the burning matter, Municipality’s Spokesperson Thandi Matebese said “The water outages in the Phumlani, Phaphamani and Phungeni area, come as a surprise to us.  Because our reservoirs are full but we suspect that the pipe valves could be faulty”. Matebese declared that city plumbers are busy fixing the problem.

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