Residents of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, in the Northern Cape, are bracing themselves for a three-day water shutdown set to kick in this evening. Whilst many residents spent the better part of the week filling up Jojo tanks and buckets, others have raised concern over what they deem as the municipality’s failure to meet their needs.
The municipality, which serves the communities of Kimberley and Ritchie, has warned residents of planned water cuts until Sunday evening. It said this is due to water infrastructure maintenance, which they have been renewing for the last decade.
Residents in various parts of Kimberley have, however, expressed concern over these water supply interruptions, stating that it is a recurring problem that leaves them stranded.
“Most of us do not have taps in our yards, we have to walk miles to go fetch water. We have toilets and those toilets do not flush. So, we need to have water in those toilets. We have kids, they say it’s COVID; you must wash your hands every time. How are you going to wash our hands every time,” says one of the residents.
Sol Plaatje municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie says the interruption is necessary to enhance the provision of water supply.
“The reason is to allow for repairs on major leaks on the pipeline from Riverton including other sites in the city reticulation. Water tankers will be placed at specific sites across the city, while others will focus on medical institutions such as hospitals. Jojo tanks will be refilled on an ongoing basis across the city. Water points will be at Newton Reservoir and the emergency services sites at the civic centre. We urge all residents to please make adequate water provision until Sunday.”
Residents in Kimberley say they are tired of the persistent unresolved problem. They are adamant the municipality must address water issues particularly now that the country is also battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, some areas in Gauteng are still without water after Rand Water embarked on maintenance:
Author- Katleho Morapela