Water crisis deepens in Platinum City, affecting residents, mining

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Platinum City of Rustenburg is one of the areas in the North West facing serious water supply challenges. It appears that the challenges faced by the two water companies, Magalies and Rand Water, are preventing a consistent supply of water.

This forces the City to implement water cuts, negatively affecting the residents, some mining companies, and firms around Rustenburg.

The residents complain about the dirty water that they get for a few hours in the morning and say that it is not safe to drink.

Amidst the two boards servicing the areas, the municipality also has an entity called the Rustenburg Water Service Trust.

Opposition parties labelled the entities “useless”.

The Rustenburg Local Municipality has 45 wards and the majority of them are affected by the intermittent supply and rationing of water.

Residents can only access water between 4 am and 10 am – they are unhappy that this occurs regardless of paying rates.

“Water is a challenge. A serious one. Sometimes it’s out for a week but the bill when it comes you pay full amount like you’ve been receiving the water every month,” laments one resident.

Another one says, “I don’t know if they are eating the money or keeping the water to themselves. Yes sometimes they might give us water, but it’s water you cannot use, it’s just for the toilet. We pay for services and after that, you still have to buy drinking water.”

Those living in Karlien Park have given up on the municipality. They say the water donated to them by a local association came in handy.

The residents of Karlien Park say there’s no community that can live without water. “The only water that we rely on is the water here at the back, borehole water and it’s not even from the municipality. It’s from a Muslim association, they sponsor us with this water.”

“Every two to three hours in the morning there’s water and from there there’s no water. That’s very difficult because I run a daycare centre. The kid’s hands and they use the toilets.”

The official opposition in the Rustenburg local municipality, the EFF’s provincial deputy secretary, Justice Dabampe is going to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

EFF provincial deputy secretary, Justice Danampe says, ”The Rustenburg municipality under the ANC has failed its responsibility to ensure that our people have basic services such as water. children could not go to school today, courts could not operate because there is no water in the entire municipality. you also have an entity called the Rustenburg Water Trust, which is just sitting there milking money from the municipality without providing any meaningful services to our people. we are going to write to the human rights commission, we are going to lay a complaint because this is depriving our people of their basic rights.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Luan Snyders, also questions the importance of the Rustenburg Water Service Trust.

”The Rustenburg Water Services Trust as a so-called entity of the municipality needs to be held accountable as well as council needs to hold the administration accountable. our other issue is the bulk water suppliers that are not supplying sufficient water or the quota that they are supposed to supply has not been reviewed to increase the quota of water into the city. it is also affecting the continued water supply. I mean, before this water crisis we had residents that haven’t had water for about twelve years and still, they are struggling with water as we speak.”

In a written response to SABC News, the Rustenburg local municipality alluded that all of Rustenburg’s water systems are under tremendous pressure due to demand exceeding supply.

They add that the only way to give residents water is through restricted implementation.

According to the municipality – its partnerships with water service providers, responsible for implementing the schemes will address the deficit of water supply.

The municipality argues the Rustenburg Water Services Trust is important, as an entity of the municipality to develop and manage water systems within the municipality – using a private model that entails the selling of grey water to mines and generating revenue that is directed to municipal infrastructure development.