Frustration as taps run dry in Pretoria North suburbs

Frustration as taps run dry in Pretoria North suburbs. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Frustration as taps run dry in Pretoria North suburbs. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 12, 2023


There was frustration among residents in the Pretoria North suburbs at the weekend as they waited in queues for their turn to fill up empty buckets with water from roving water tankers.

This was after their taps suddenly ran dry on Thursday night owing to Eskom’s power failure at Palmiet pump station, managed by Rand Water.

The worst affected were residents living in Ninapark, Theresapark, Theresaburg, Chantelle, Wolmer, Dorandia and Amandasig who were forced to spend days without water.

Some stranded residents blamed the City of Tshwane for the water outage despite the municipality having organised roving water tankers to provide them with water to alleviate their plight.

While some households started receiving water on Sunday there were still others who remained without water.

The City said Eskom’s power failure at Palmiet pump station affected the Akasia reservoirs, which were still empty on Sunday.

“Though power was restored at the facility, Rand Water’s system is still struggling to recover,” said municipal spokesperson Selby Bokaba.

Also hard hit by the power failure was the high-lying areas in Soshanguve, which were without water after the Soshanguve L reservoirs were at critically low levels.

The City apologised to residents for the inconvenience caused by the sudden interruption of water supply.

Bokaba said power was restored on the same day at Palmiet pump station, but one of the reservoirs on the water utility system, Brakfontein Reservoir, ran empty.

“The reservoir level was at 10% this morning and very low to sufficiently supply the Akasia reservoirs, as well as the Hartebeesthoek Reservoir that feeds the Soshanguve L Reservoirs,”he said.

Residents in Soshanguve didn’t experience a water shortage despite a threat that their area might be affected should they fail to use water sparingly and when it is absolutely necessary to assist the system to recover and stabilise.

Some affected residents took to social media to vent their anger and frustration with others claiming that the City was deliberately depriving them of water.

They claimed a water outage was allowed to happen to allow politically-connected individuals to benefit from contracts of distributing water through water tankers.

“This weekend is the worst, there are water tankers everywhere,” one resident said.

Another resident pointed fingers at the municipality for being taken by surprise by the water outage, saying: “Tshwane waits until the reservoirs are empty, their management is really lacking.”

Meanwhile, Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink on Saturday appealed to residents across the municipality to use water sparingly.

This was after the City noticed a sharp decline of water levels in its reservoirs.

Brink said: “Although we have not received any formal communication from Rand Water it is clear to us that from the dropping water levels, from the lack of pressure to replenish the reservoirs and also from the experiences of other Rand Water supply areas, including the City of Johannesburg, that Rand Water systems are under severe pressure.”

He said the reasons for low water levels at reservoirs could be very high temperatures as well as maintenance issues at the water utility.

Pretoria News

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