Durban builds boreholes to relieve water crisis

“We were hoping that the borehole was going to pump water into our yards. The borehole is too far from my house”

By Tsoanelo Sefoloko

9 February 2024

Water from the newly built borehole on the Trenance Park New Phase side of the community in Durban is pumped into these water tanks. But residents who live in Trenance Park 3 say it is too far from them. Photo: Tsoanelo Sefoloko

The community of Trenance Park 3 in Durban is complaining about the location of their newly built borehole, saying it will only benefit households close to it.

But eThekwini municipality says this is only a temporary measure until running water is to be restored next week across the metro.

On Sunday, head of water and sanitation in the eThekwini Municipality, Ednick Msweli, announced the installation of five boreholes in communities badly affected by the water crisis.

One of those boreholes was built in Trenance Park 3, but residents say it’s too far away, about 500 metres away, from most of their houses.

Chairperson of the Verulam Water Crisis Committee, Roshan Lil-Ruthan, said the borehole is on the Trenance Park New Phase side, an area prone to high crime. This is another reason why most residents are afraid to go to the borehole, he said.

“There was no consultation with residents about the current location of the borehole. We were also told that the borehole water was going to be pumped to the tower and this hasn’t happened. We have written to the water and sanitation national minister Senzo Mchunu with our concerns about our crisis,” said Lil-Ruthan.

Resident Lennette Buden said the borehole is only going to benefit those who live close to it and those who have cars to fetch water there. “We were hoping that the borehole was going to pump water into our yards. The borehole is too far from my house as well.”

Buden and other neighbours have also been complaining of high water bills despite taps in the area being dry.

EThekwini municipality communication officer Simphiwe Dlamini said that the borehole is an emergency measure to provide temporary relief while interventions to boost water supply to affected reservoirs are underway.

He said the borehole produces 2,000 litres per hour and will run up to 20 hours a day. “Water produced from the borehole has been tested and complies with the South African National Standard 241 for drinking water requirements.

“Residents are urged not to connect their hose pipes to the standpipes to fill up water tanks on their properties,” said Dlamini.