Rand Water to lay charges against residents who insulted staff during water shortages
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Johannesburg – The recent water shortages drove many Gauteng residents to the edge with many publicly expressing their frustration at being without water for days on end.
However, those that may have taken their frustrations to another level may end up being prosecuted after Rand Water stated that it intends laying criminal charges against those who used abusive language and also insulted its staff during water shortages.
Rand Water’s Pride Mguli said their Customer Service Centre had received emails from members of the public who used profanities to express their frustrations.
“The latest email was sent to the organisation’s CSC on May 30. Rand Water views the tone and the abusive language used in the email as unacceptable, undesirable and malicious to its brand.
“The sender of the email implied that water shortages in his area were as a result of the incompetence of Rand Water employees. These accusations are unfounded and baseless, since water supply is dependent on interlinkages with other service providers in the water value chain,” said Mguli.
The water entity said it acknowledges that sometimes it encounters challenges in the process of supplying water to its customers.
However, when that happens, it said, they always communicate the challenges they encounter to communities through traditional media and social media platforms until the problems are resolved.
“Although Rand Water appreciates it when members of the public report water interruptions in their respective areas but it will not tolerate abusive language and insults meted against its employees.”
Some schools had to shut down, residents had to make alternative arrangements to get water while hospitals had to be supplied by water tanks when Gauteng experienced an erratic water supply that left pumps dry.
Rand Water and Joburg Water said in a joint statement that everything started when the former undertook a pre-isolation shutdown at Eikenhof pumping station on May 18 to prepare for the replacement of the G34/Q2 isolation valve.
During the pre-isolation shutdown, a power failure was experienced at the Vereeniging Water Treatment Plant which affected supply to the Hursthill system.
The Hursthill system battled to recover to acceptable reservoir levels after the shutdown and restoration.