Durban communities demand end to ‘water crisis’

Connie Queline

Durban communities demand end to ‘water crisis’

Residents of eThekwini communities, such as Parkgate in Verulam and Phoenix, have been taking to the streets to demand better water supply.

On Monday, residents blocked the main road in Phoenix from 4:30am, chanting: “We want water! We want water!”. They say most days they get water in the taps for two hours a day or not at all.

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Read: Legislation to get municipalities to deliver clean drinking water …

According to residents, their water woes date back to 2022. They are frustrated with the municipality’s failure to deliver clean water to their communities.

Community leader Tyrone Govender told GroundUp: “Two years without [running] water is not easy. The sad thing is that on Saturday when the eThekwini mayor was here, we had water in our taps. But as soon as the mayor left, the problem started again.”

In Parkgate next to the R102, people say they too have inconsistent water from their taps.

Community leader Adam Hartheem said they have been without running water for two years and are relying on municipal water tankers.

“The tankers sometimes arrive at around 11pm. To get water we have to run, and many elderly people can’t. We are really tired of relying on the water tankers,” said Hartheem.

Residents of Parkgate near Verulam say they wait hours with their containers for the municipality’s water truck to arrive. Image: Tsoanelo Sefoloko, GroundUp

Municipality spokesperson Simphiwe Dlamini said eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, Deputy Mayor Zandile Myeni, Chairperson for Human Settlements and Infrastructure, Themba Mvubu, and City Manager Musa Mbhele had met residents of Phoenix and Verulam at the Shastri Park Community Hall on Saturday.

“Demand for water in eThekwini has grown rapidly due to urbanisation,” he said.

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Dlamini said there were leaks in the system due to vandalism and ageing infrastructure and upgrades were underway.

Read: SA’s water crisis

“With the current water outage affecting the north, tests and repairs are underway on the Northern Aqueduct, and water is expected to be restored by 15 February,” said Dlamini.

He said the municipality agreed that water tankers “are not a permanent solution” but would be used temporarily while the City resolves its water supply challenges.

© 2024 GroundUp. This article was first published here.

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