Durban - Residents from Hilton, Winterskloof and Mount Michael are angry and frustrated after suffering through almost three weeks of continuous water cuts.
They are now demanding action from the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, or they say they will take the municipality to court.
Hilton resident and businesswoman, Daphne Richards, said that her business had suffered a significant loss over the past two weeks.
“We continue to pay for services that we are not getting. Surely that is against the law? If we are not given some definitive answers soon, then the municipality is going to have a legal battle on their hands,” Richards said.
An employee at a retirement home in Hilton said that the water cuts were impacting terribly on the residents and staff, who were finding it increasingly difficult to manage without running water.
“Some of the residents here are incontinent and water is a precious resource in a facility such as this. Hygienic conditions are a necessity. We have had to buy water, which is also costing the facility more than we can afford. It is a miserable situation,” the employee said.
Another resident, Alison Barnard, who runs a creche, said she was finding it “a mission” to cope without water.
“This is a violation of our constitutional rights. I am a resident who is paying for essential services, but the municipality cannot deliver. Where is our tax money going?” the frustrated caregiver asked.
Officials at the municipality have their backs against the wall, and have pleaded with residents to be patient.
The Umgungundlovu District Municipality’s Bheki Mbambo apologised to residents for the inconvenience of the unplanned water cuts.
He explained that the problem was mainly to do with the ageing infrastructure in the area.
“The pipelines in the affected areas are very old, and there are several leaks that have been detected which we are trying to fix.
“It isn’t easy to identify where exactly the leaks are, because the pipes are very deep and very old, but we are trying our best to fix the situation as quickly as we can,” Mbambo said.
He assured residents that municipal employees were working around the clock to resolve the problem.
Mbambo appealed to them to report any leaks they found on their properties.