Bushbuckridge residents without water (South Africa)

bushbuckridge waterDisgruntled residents in Bushbuckridge and surrounding areas have been without water since Sunday last week after the Bushbuckridge Water Board employees went on strike.

The main water pumps have allegedly been switched off. Speaking to The New Age on Saturday, one of the unhappy residents, Sipho Nkuna, 29, of Marite, said that the Bushbuckridge local municipality was undermining their rights to water as residents were never notified about the water cut off and were not provided with water tankers as an alternative.

“We are certainly dismayed at the treatment we are receiving from the local municipality. We demand answers from both the municipal and provincial authorities about the undemocratic service delivery.

“The protest by the employees responsible for water supply should not affect us,” said Nkuna.

“We have been competing with animals to access contaminated water from the nearby rivers and dams because our municipality has since Sunday failed to respect our rights to water,” said Nkuna.

Another upset resident, Tinyiko Khoza, 33, of Manyeleti, said: “Water supply to Bushbuckridge is absolutely critical, especially when viewed in the light of the many recent violent protests over water in the area.

“We have had enough with the irresponsible municipal employees. The authorities must explain this mess.”

Other areas affected are Alexandra and Alice Court.

Bushbuckridge local municipality spokesperson Matome Malatji was not available for comment yesterday. His mobile phone was on voice mail and he did not respond by the time of going to press.

Provincial spokesperson for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Simphiwe Kunene confirmed that the water board employees were on strike over wages and labourissues.

“We are fully aware that the employees are on strike for benefits like salaries and other related issues. We have received a notice from the water board that they have made contingency plans for water supply during the strike,” said Kunene.

“We were not aware that the residents of these areas have no water. We are really concerned about their plight and will investigate the matter with the local municipality,” he added.

Source: The New Age (By France Nyaka)

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