Sol Plaatje Municipality still struggles to restore water supply

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Retirement homes and a private hospital are some of the facilities hardest hit by the shortage of water in Kimberley. The Sol Plaatje Municipality is still battling to fully restore water supply around the city.

The local authority, which has been plagued by constant water cuts, embarked on an unplanned shutdown last week Wednesday, citing repairs to leaking pipes.

Despite the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s assurances that the water supply would be fully restored to all residential areas and businesses in Kimberley this past weekend, a number of areas are still without water.

Medical services at this hospital are severely affected by the lack of a stable water supply. A local business is currently helping to supply much-needed water to the facility.

“Extremely critical because the hospital just doesn’t have water. I mean looking at the doctor’s consulting rooms, looking at the ICU unit and operating theatre so they need water on a daily basis,” says Rob Fisher, water tanker driver.

Retirement facilities are also impacted by the lack of water, having been without water for almost a week now. Pensioners with various chronic illnesses have expressed concern about their health amid soaring temperatures.

“It’s bad there is no drinking water for anyone to drink. We have got Jojo tank but water is going down too low,” says Barbara Francis, pensioner.

“It’s very difficult. I suffer from heat. I battle heat it’s 40 degrees,” says pensioner Alec Woodrow.

Meanwhile, the municipality says it is continuing with a nightly shutdown until 5 am to allow dams at the Newtown Reservoir to fill up. It is hoping to normalize the situation in the coming days.

“Water tankering remains in force and residents are encouraged to call ward-based councillors and coordinators. Areas that have been experiencing a lack of water supply and severe low pressure are to be prioritised. Some of the listed areas are Kimberley CBD, Belgravia, Minerva Gardens, Royldene and others,” says Sol Plaatje local municipality spokesperson, Thabo Mothibi.

While some areas around town have been receiving water since Friday, it’s unclear when the bone-dry sections of Kimberley will finally have their water supply fully restored.