Many households in the Qibing township and Wepener in the southern Free State do not have access to a basic water supply.
According to residents, the crisis has been going on for close to four months and living without water has become a norm.
They say their cries have fallen on deaf ears, adding that they have lost hope.
“Since from October until now, there is no water. We can go everywhere to fetch some water, we don’t get it,” says one resident.
Another resident says: “…And previously we didn’t have these problems, so I don’t know what really the problem is, I don’t know, lack of maintenance, I don’t know.”
Mangaung Metro’s new administration has committed itself to giving attention to smaller towns around Bloemfontein.
This as part of Executive Mayor Mxolisi Siyonzana’s 100 days programme.
Mangaung Metro Spokesperson Qondile Khedama says, “As part of 100 days of the newly installed Executive Mayor, he said he wants to pay attention to all these areas that we regard as small, Wepener, Van Stadensrus and parts of Soutpan. These are the areas that he committed to pay attention to. Now, we’ll be making sure that as part of his programme, all issues related to service delivery, including the issue of water in Wepener, Qibing is given attention.”
While water tankers could be a temporary solution, residents demand a basic right to running tap water.
Matjhabeng water cuts
Many other parts of the province are also suffering from water shortages.
Just last month, the Matjhabeng Municipality admitted its failure to honour a payment arrangement with water entity Sedibeng Water.
The municipality owes the entity R4.8 billion which they are currently disputing before the court.
The water cuts saw residents of parts of Welkom, Allanridge, Virginia and Odendaalsrus without water for days on end, as reported in the video below:
In a feature produced by SABC News last year in February, residents of Kestell in the eastern Free State had said the water crisis in the area is worsening, with some parts having been without water for more than ten years.
SABC News Reporter Palesa Moeti elaborates more on the water crisis in Kestell:
-Additional reporting by Palesa Moeti