The residents of Tshwane are now suffering because of the ongoing water crisis in some parts of the city due to the non-functioning of pump stations that feed water to certain reservoirs.
Most areas in the east of Pretoria have been without water since Saturday, 5 February 2022. Some of the areas affected are Moreleta Park, Constantia Park, Erasmuskloof, Pretorius Park, Olympus, Zwavelpoort, Wilds, Woodhill, Garsfontein, Faerie Glen, parts of Mamelodi and Kungwini.
The water interruptions are because of power failures from Eskom’s power station that supplies electricity to Rand Water. The power failure occurred on Saturday and resulted in Rand Water not being able to supply any water to numerous reservoirs, and the reservoirs were also unable to pump water through to certain areas. This situation affected the water supply to the residents of Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.
Electricity was restored and the reservoirs had started pumping water, however, there was another electricity trip on Wednesday. The trip was fixed, and Rand Water has stopped its pumps from distributing water in some areas in Tshwane. Rand Water is currently filling up water in the reservoirs to a level that is high enough before they start providing water to Tshwane and other affected areas.
The City of Tshwane’s resources is currently stretched, following the flooding over the weekend as the local disaster management unit had to use all the resources that they had, and additional support is vital from the province in a crisis such as this.
The City does not have sufficient water tankers to provide water to all the affected residents without the assistance of either Eskom or Rand Water. This is leaving the majority of the east of Tshwane residents without water.
The DA strongly believes that water is a necessity and access to water is a Constitutional right and as such all-government stakeholders must ensure access to water for all residents. Since this issue originated from a problem from a national entity, we believe that it requires both national and provincial intervention as a matter of urgency.
The DA has written to the Premier, MEC for COGTA, HOD for COGTA, Provincial Disaster Management and the CEO of Rand Water to urgently assist the City of Tshwane with provincial water tankers to distribute water to the affected areas. We also requested that the Premier’s office should assist in ensuring that Rand Water is held financially accountable for failing to provide water.
The DA is also asking for an urgent report from Rand Water to provide us with details on the following:
• What are the reasons behind water interruptions in some parts of Tshwane?
• Why has the water supply not been restored and when will it be restored?
• What support is Rand Water providing to the City of Tshwane to ensure that residents have access to an uninterrupted water supply?
• Will Rand Water be providing water tankers to the affected areas, or will they be assisting the City of Tshwane to pay the water bills if Tshwane had to outsource water tankers to supply water to the affected areas?
• Why there was no disaster plan in place in a case like this to be able to ensure that the residents have access to water?
• How do you intend to prevent water supply interruptions again and ensure such incidents don’t occur in the future?
The DA will also request the municipality to do an investigation and fact-finding mission on the functioning of the reservoir pressure pumps, maintenance and disaster management plans to prevent similar events like these in the future.
We further appeal to Rand Water to improve their communication and ensure that up to date information is sent to the municipalities to keep the communities informed. Rand Water must also ensure that water is restored in all the affected areas so that residents can have access to water as is their basic human right.