Rustenburg mayor Mpho Khunou says the municipality is willing to address prepaid water meters in Lethabong north east of Rustenburg. Taps in Lethabong are running dry because the sole point used to sell water was closed down. Photo: ANA

RUSTENBURG - One by one taps are running dry in Lethabong north east of Rustenburg in the North West.

Residents could not top-up their prepaid water meter tags because the sale point had been shutdown for over three weeks.

Rustenburg Mayor Mpho Khunou said the municipality was willing to address the matter, he explained that the contract of Lesira Tag had came to an end.

"We had made proposal to the ward councillors and the community that due to a  fact that another service provider will come on board and it will take few months we rather install conventional meters to ensure that people do access water." 

He said the community rejected the proposal.

"We hope to be engage them further. The municipality is willing to found a solution, in the interim that is conventional meters so that when new meters are installed in so three months we will not have  type of problems we had with Lesira Tag," he said.

Resident Eric Peters said he had run out of water and could not buy water, not because he did not have money but because there was nowhere to buy water.

"I have stopped using a geyser. I cannot use the toilet as there is no water to flush," he said.

"Neighbours are helping but, they too will soon run out of water, the entire area will eventually run out of water. There is water in the pipe but we cannot access it."

A group of young men moved from house to house informing residents that they could by-pass the metres and connect water illegally.

Rustenburg municipality installed prepaid meters in Lethabong as a pilot project.

Residents said the word from the municipality was that the prepaid meters needed to be changed and the process was unfolding.

However, they felt the municipality could have informed them in time so that they could buy water in bulk and have enough water supply while the process of replacing meters unfold.

"Now we are forced to do things illegal," said one resident.

According to Resolution 64/292, of the United Nation water is a human right.

* Receive IOL's top stories via Whatsapp by sending your name to 0745573535.

African News Agency (ANA)