It has been seven days since Makana Municipality residents on the east side of Makhanda in the Eastern Cape saw a drop of water coming out of their taps.

Leakage at the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Plant has damaged pumps resulting in parts of the town running dry. According to a municipal report, the Settlers Dam is currently at 5% and the Howiesons Poort Dam is at 25%.

With scorching hot temperatures, residents of Makhanda are scrambling for water. The city has been in the grip of a drought for the past four years. Residents and local businesses have been hit with an erratic water supply and water cuts on a daily basis. The water cuts have infuriated some of the residents.

The relief organisation, Gift of the Givers, has intervened to assist with the water supply.

Water trucks and tanks have been dispensed across the city.

Makana Municipal Mayor Mzukisi Mphahlwa says the damaged pump at the water treatment plant has been sent for repairs and is expected to be operational on Wednesday.

“The problem with the water in the city started when one of the gadgets failed in the pump at the water treatment plant. So, this had caused flooding in the water treatment plant. So, this has damaged most of the motors so, we have taken some of the motors for baking so that we can dry them out and we have also tried to reduce the level of that flooding there.”

A multi-year project to upgrade the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Plant is currently under way to increase the supply as the demand is high. Large parts of the Eastern Cape are in the grip of a severe drought with supply dams running dry.

Prolonged Eastern Cape drought threatens livelihoods: