South Africa: Water crisis outcry

Ermelo and surrounds have appealed to the cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Madala Masuku to assist them with water tankers.
water crisis south africa
The municipality in Mpumalanga Province has been hit by a water crisis for some time, and now the residents’ patience is running thin.

The fuming communities have accused the municipality, under the leadership of mayor Joseph Bongwe, of undermining their right to access clean water.

The affected areas include Old Ermelo, Phumula, De-Bruin Park, Cassim Park, Longhomes, Everest Park, Klipbou, New Ermelo, Nederland Park and Thembisa.

Last year The New Age reported how desperate residents had to share contaminated river and well waters with animals.

Resident Jabulani Shongwe said their pleas for help, through water tankers or water storage tanks, had been ignored by the local municipality.

“Our rights are being undermined by the municipality because we cannot live without water. We request their intervention but all we get are excuses.
“They said they were shocked by the (water supply) interruption but they are still not doing anything about the problem.”

Joyce Vilakazi, another resident, said: “We demand answers from the municipality because our lives are at risk over this unpleasant situation.

“We spent the entire week without water and have not received any notice from the municipality. Let the authorities explain how we got to this mess.”

Spokesperson for Msukaligwa municipality Surprise Ngcongo confirmed the municipality was facing a water crisis.

He said the matter was caused by technical problems.

“The water crisis was sparked by challenges ranging from a faulty transformer, aging infrastructure, theft and vandalism of electrical cables as well as fire hydrants affecting the supply of water in the reservoirs,” Ngcongo said.

“Contingency measures are being applied via the distribution of water tankers at strategic points.”

He did not say if the council would enlist the help of the province to find a solution.

Source: The New Age (By France Nyaka)

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