Water crisis: Ekurhuleni Metro fails to fix Thokoza water leak for 4 months

There has been a major water leak behind the Maphanzela Primary School in Thokoza for the past four months which has resulted in a deep water-filled trench forming behind the school.

The trench has become so deep, due to the continuous flow of water from the leaking pipe, that children in the area are now using it to swim in (pictures attached). These children are at risk of drowning or being injured while swimming in this trench.

I posed questions to the MMC for Water and Energy, Doctor Xhakaza, asking if his department was aware of this water leak and if so, why it has not been repaired despite it being reported more than four months ago.

I received the following reply:

“The Metro is aware of the water leak. The leak is on an old unused waterline that was decommissioned in the early 90’s. A few months ago the Metro discovered a leak and searched for the feed but could not find it. As the excavations from the retention dam were dumped on the old pipeline it was too deep for a normal TLB and we had to get a bigger excavator to reach the pipe. The Metro repaired the leak but the same day the pipe was vandalised by an unknown person. As where the water is feeding into this is unknown; we are unable to isolate the water and have fitted a stainless steel clamp to minimise the water loss.”

It is unacceptable that the Ekurhuleni Metro has failed to successfully repair this water leak for over four months. Not only does it pose a safety risk to the community but Gauteng, and the rest of the country, is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than 23 years.

As a result Rand Water has announced that it may be forced to introduce water restrictions in future and has urged Gauteng residents to use water sparingly.

It is critical that the Ekurhuleni municipality priorities the fixing of leaks, including the one in Thokoza, in order to minimize water wastage in the municipality.

Due to the fact that municipality has failed to address this problem over the past four months, I will be writing to the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements Jacob Mamabolo requesting that his department urgently intervenes and ensures that the municipality fixes this Thokoza leak as a matter of urgency.

It is unacceptable that residents are being urged to use water sparingly while the Ekurhuleni municipality drags its feet when it comes to fixing leaks resulting in major water losses in the metro.

The DA will be monitoring this situation until it is resolved.

Media enquiries:

Ernest Hlatshwayo

PR Councillor: Ward 48, Katlehong

073 425 5534


Sinkhole inside RDP home: DA escalates issue to Gauteng Legislature as EMM fails to assist

A resident living in Etwatwa, Ekurhuleni has been living with a sinkhole in his RDP house for the past five years.

Sphiwe Mokwena, approached the DA after both the previous and current local ANC ward councillor and Ekurhuleni Metro failed to assist him, despite reporting the sinkhole in 2010.

A sinkhole formed in the living room of Sphiwe’s RDP house five years ago, forcing him and his family to move out of their home.

Sphiwe’s family was subsequently forced to rent two shacks – one for his parents and one for the children.

In 2010, the Mokwena family reported this issue to the previous local ANC councillor who gave the family cement to cover the hole but this did not resolve the problem.

Since then the family have not heard from the previous councillor and the current councillor, Masele Madihlaba, have also done nothing to assist the Mokwena family despite this issue being covered in the media last year.

The sinkhole now takes up half of the living room and has caused cracks to form in different parts of the house.

Last September (2014/09/26), the issue was reported in the Daily Sun and Ekurhuleni Metro Spokesperson, Themba Gadebe was quoted in the story saying that the municipality would send officials to assess the sinkhole. He stated: “We are determined to assist the Mokwena family. We don’t want any loss of life.”

Yet, more than a year later, Mr Gadebe has failed to deliver on his promise. Officials have not come to assess the sinkhole and the Mokwena family still live in shacks because their home is unsafe to live in.

It is unacceptable that the Ekurhuleni municipality has failed to address this matter over the past five years.

In my capacity as Springs/Daveyton Constituency Head I will be writing to the Ekurhuleni MMC for Human Settlements, Aubrey Nxumalo and request that he provides answers on the following questions:

  1. Why has the municipality failed to fix this problem since the issue was reported in 2010;
  2. What steps will the municipality take to assist the Mokwena family;
  3. Whether a site and soil review was conducted to ensure that the land was suitable to build on prior to the RDP homes being built; and
  4. Are the surrounding RDP homes also at risk of being affected by a similar problem?

Due to the Ekurhuleni Metro failing to properly address this issue for the past five years, I will also write to the MEC for Human Settlements, Jacob Mamabolo in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature asking his department to investigate this issue as a matter of urgency.

It is crucial that the municipality assist the Mokwena family immediately so that they can move back into their home and that officials who have failed to take action over the past five years are held accountable.

Media Enquiries

Ashor Sarupen MPL

DA Springs-Daveyton Constituency Head

076 334 5147