Residents of Refilwe, Karabo Nkadimeng and Thato Choeu fetching water from water tankers after their taps went dry.
    Bongani Shilubane African News Agency (ANA)
Residents of Refilwe, Karabo Nkadimeng and Thato Choeu fetching water from water tankers after their taps went dry.
 Bongani Shilubane African News Agency (ANA)

Damaged pipe leaves suburbs in Tshwane east without water

By Rudzani Matshili Time of article published Jan 9, 2020

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Pretoria - The heavy rains of December are for most a distant memory, but for thousands of residents in the far east of Tshwane, the problems are far from over.

They continue to suffer water problems as a result of the damage to a key pipeline which has left them without water.

Areas affected are Refilwe, Cullinan, Rayton, Petra Diamond Mine and Zonderwater Correctional Services.

According to supplier Magalies Water, there will not be a permanent fix until next month.

Magalies Water has in the meantime looked for a temporary solution to address the damage to the 210m water supply pipeline at the Wilge Dam while the City of Tshwane provides interim relief by dispatching water tankers to the affected areas.

Speaking to the Pretoria News, acting mayor Abel Tau said there were some new developments.

Residents told the Pretoria News they were adversely affected by the ongoing situation and were relying on the water tankers for drinking water.

Katlego Mokone of Refilwe Extension 1 said the period of the water cuts had not been communicated to them, saying she had to find out on social media from fellow residents that it could go on for months.

Even before the recent loss of water, the water in the area was not safe for consumption as it appeared to have a brown colour and metallic taste, and people often fell ill after drinking it, she said.

However, the city has said that the water problem was due to manganese but was only aesthetic, and the water was not a health risk.

“The recent months have really been tough for us as residents. Before the taps ran dry, we were faced with a problem of water that was contaminated but at least then, you could do laundry, flush the toilet and clean with the water.

“But now, no water at all. We spent the festive holidays under tough circumstances, having to carry heavy buckets every time we needed water. We were really hoping that when they finally fix the pipeline they would also fix the problem of having brown water coming out,” she said. Another resident, Karabo Nkadimeng, said it had been a tough holiday season without water, but he was grateful for the tankers bringing fresh water.

Reports were also coming from Zonderwater Correctional Services that prisoners had to carry and share buckets of water.

However, the facility spokesperson Patrick Thobejane denied the allegations, saying Zonderwater has borehole water.

“Prior to the water shedding, we supplied fresh water to offenders throughout the working hours during the day at both centre’s court yards.”

“From December 13 2019 up and until 20, the process of water storage started and was saved in our own reservoir, this after being informed of the impending water crisis for Zonderwater Management Area.

In addition, Thobejane said: “Also, water was supplied from our boreholes with tankers and storage tanks, while additional water supply systems were installed from our main borehole system to both correctional centers. Inmates could and can still collect as many and as much buckets of water during the day as they wanted especially for drinking purposes.

Pretoria News

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