Durban — Frequent burst water pipes due to ageing infrastructure have left Effingham residents, north of Durban, frustrated and road surfaces damaged.
eThekwini Municipality ward 34 councillor Ashok Maharajh believed that the common cause of these leakages was due to the old asbestos pipes underground. He estimated these asbestos pipes to be 40 years old.
Maharajh said he noticed an escalation of complaints and leaks in the past three years. Maharajh said there were five major leaks, from Thursday, in Avoca and Effingham.
“On Thursday, two municipal contractors arrived, dug up the road and made no headway. Despite being there for a full day, not much was done. I phoned the head of water for action to be taken,” he said.
Maharajh said two municipal vehicles arrived and workers conducted their inspections and sought the necessary parts.
“What made me proud was that one of the municipal plumbers did not leave, despite his shift ending, until the job was complete,” Maharajh said.
On Scotia Terrace, the road surface collapsed after a pipe burst on Saturday.
On Sunday, a burst water meter on Allenby Road caused water to flow into residents’ homes, said Maharajh.
On Old Mill Road on Tuesday, an underground pipe leak lifted the road surface.
“The municipality needs to sort this out. Ratepayers should not be going through this. One can live without electricity, but not without water,” said Maharajh.
Ward 34 Ratepayers and Residents Association chairperson Andrew Akkers said that thee leaks were recurring for the last month in locations that were repaired by contracted plumbers.
“According to a few retired/former eThekwini Municipality plumbers who live in the ward, this is mainly due to the inexperience of contractors who are charging the lines too fast/with full pressure instead of charging in stages. They also suspect sabotage as contractors are then called back within 24 hours to attend to other major faults,” claimed Akkers.
Akkers also said that another concern was that the ward was still fed from asbestos piping. This was to be changed some years back to PVC and never materialised.
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