Residents of Hambanathi in oThongathi north of Durban say a child has drowned, people have been injured, and others have contracted waterborne diseases because of the water problems in the township.
They have barricaded a road into the township and set alight water storage tanks in protest of water shortages since the April floods.
The video below is an update from the protest:
After the town’s main water treatment plant was washed away, the eThekwini Municipality has been sending water tankers to the township. However, residents say the service is inadequate.
One of them Sikhumbuzo Mthembu says his daughter and granddaughter have been admitted to hospital
with waterborne diseases.
“There’s a kid who already died. He fell into the bucket, he passed away. There are ladies who got themselves hurt because they were running for water.”
“Now it’s really bad. It means our government is totally failing. Because these Jojo tanks are placed, they are not getting filled up with water. That is why people are angry, burning these Jojos, because they are useless to them.”
The municipality says the R31 million water plant construction project which started in mid-July will take four months to complete.
The oThongathi Civic Association spokesperson Charles Chetty says they are frustrated.
“As you see, these Jojo tanks have been burnt for one simple reason, they’re just left there, unattended, not serviced. We very rarely see water in the Jojo’s. So, therefore, the community is saying enough is enough. Today, we are asking the national government, we are asking the minister … if he doesn’t come and address the concerns of the residents of Tongaat, we’re not going back home. We are going to stay on the streets,” adds Chetty.