Escalating water outages for eThekwini residents

Places like Folweni and some sections in uMlazi in the south of Durban are getting used to living for more than two weeks without water. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency /ANA

Places like Folweni and some sections in uMlazi in the south of Durban are getting used to living for more than two weeks without water. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency /ANA

Published Jul 27, 2023


Durban — Most areas, especially townships, under the eThekwini Municipality are facing escalating water outages going on for days and weeks.

This has become the norm for most families in different parts of eThekwini, with others getting used to a rationing schedule.

Places like Folweni and some sections of uMlazi to the south of Durban are getting used to going for more than two weeks without water.

Mhlengi Hlomuka, from uMlazi, said initially they would suffer during the week and water would be restored on weekends, but now they didn’t even bother with bathing because they were tired of looking for water.

On Wednesday, the Facebook page of eThekwini Municipality was inundated with official statements from the municipality as well as residents of different locations complaining about water cuts in their communities.

The municipality said it was aware of the interruption of water supply in Shongweni, Summerveld, Cliffdale, and Alverstone in the outer west. The interruption was due to a recurring burst on the trunk main supplying these areas. The municipality said that a team from the water department was delayed in finishing the repairs because the location of the trunk main was wet and muddy.

Phumzile Manyoka Ngwane of Folweni replied to one of municipality’s posts on its Facebook page: “The problem is whether they are fixing anything, Folweni always experiences water outages. It is even worse now, you only restore water on weekends. We also have toilets to flush in our houses like you, so be considerate.”

Some of the comments were from disgruntled residents who were complaining about water tankers that were rarely visible in the affected areas. Nkosi Sibiya is one of the residents who was asking where the water tankers were.

“We have not had water in Ntuzuma for the past two weeks. We plead with you, we have loads of washing, house cleaning, cooking and bath water,” Sibiya said.

Last year, the municipality implemented various interventions to address water challenges to prevent a dry spell in some townships.

A rotating schedule was in place to supply water for a few hours in the morning and evening, and on some occasions on alternate days.

A separate statement by the municipality informed residents and business owners of water supply restrictions from the Hazelmere Treatment Works.

The municipality said this was due to maintenance work being undertaken by uMgeni-uThukela Water on the Avondale Pumps at the Hazelmere Water Works.

As a result of this work, the Avondale pipeline has been isolated, resulting in the northern region experiencing restricted pumping to various reservoirs. Some of the affected areas were La Mercy, Westbrook, King Shaka International Airport, Dube Transport Agrizone, Sea Tides, Mount Morelands and others.

Lungile Mdaaki commented: “The collapse of local government and service delivery failures means that the most fundamental human right, the right to water, is being violated.

“The commodification of water by the private sector, which treats water as a product for profit instead of a natural resource meant to be shared, is compounding this crisis.”

WhatsApp your views on this story to 071 485 7995.

Daily News