Children were among the thousands of people fetching water from municipal trucks and tankers in Sunnyside and other areas within the CBD that have been hit by a water crisis since Thursday night.    Picture: Val Boje
Children were among the thousands of people fetching water from municipal trucks and tankers in Sunnyside and other areas within the CBD that have been hit by a water crisis since Thursday night. Picture: Val Boje

End to water cut in pipeline for Pretoria CBD

By Liam Ngobeni Time of article published Mar 4, 2020

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Pretoria - While about 500 000 people affected by the water shortage in and around the heart of the city carry buckets back and forth from their homes, a new pipe has arrived at the site.

Councillor Shaun Wilkinson said the new pipe section which was worked on off-site on Monday had finally been delivered - and the good news was that they had all the necessary manpower to push the installation.

“We are now in a careful process of fitting, turning, adjusting, testing and tightening the pipe. We are hoping and praying for a successful operation to install the new pipe without any glitches and as quickly as possible.”

Wilkinson said the deadline for completion, which was set for Friday, still remained in place and teams were working hard to install the pipe.

The temporary dry spell also forced Unisa to close its gates, citing health and hygiene concerns that could result owing to the lack of water on campus.

Businesses such as salons, eateries and hotels along various street corners in Sunnyside and Arcadia have also had to run on a limb as their businesses rely heavily on the use of water.

While there may be a level of frustration and discomfort as residents and business owners express discontentment over the shortage, Wilkinson said he had been amazed at the level of kindness most residents had shown each other during the few days without water.

“I witnessed people carry water up many flights of stairs for their old neighbours as well people going out of their way to help those that are helpless and cannot fetch it themselves.”

Officials, private stakeholders and volunteers decided they would take the elderly under their wing; some business people set up their teams to assist the disabled and pregnant.

“There (are) all these stories and testimonies of human dignity and people looking past themselves.”

Wilkinson said there had been a few incidents as a result of frustration by disheartened residents.

“Despite those few challenges, the level of ubuntu displayed and the Batho Pele principle that residents showed in the past few days has blown me away.”

Wilkinson said the deadline of completion in installing, testing and opening the pipe for use was still projected for Friday, but official statements would be sent to keep residents abreast of the situation.

He urged residents not to interfere with the trucks, tamper with fire hydrants, attack truck drivers or take their keys as there had been a few incidents since the shortage begun on Thursday as residents’ patience ran out.

Wilkinson said that unfortunately they could not put a truck outside every flat and on every corner so residents should make sure they filled up enough to sustain themselves.

He reiterated his message to residents to have a spirit of ubuntu during the water shortage period to aid elderly residents and pregnant women residing in flats in affected areas or old-age homes who are too frail to go to collect the water themselves.

Some centres in the affected areas include Kronendal, Residentia and Sonnheim, who have a number of elderly residents in their care.

Pretoria News

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