Over 800 households near Durban without tap water for eight years

Water tanks are only filled twice a month and people have to fetch water from a river

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Lindeka Gcogco fetches water to do her laundry from a river in Verulam, Mhlasini, north of Durban. Taps have been dry for eight years. Photos: Tsoanelo Sefoloko

People have to fetch water from a river in Verulam, about 30km north of Durban, because taps in Mhlasini Area 2 have been dry for eight years.

Zimisele Msizwane, a community leader, said that starting in 2013, they would only get tap water at night, and since 2015, taps have been completely dry. About 830 households are affected.

When the municipality delivered eight water tanks in 2017, residents thought this would bring them some relief, but they say the tanks are only filled every fortnight and the tanks are emptied within hours of refilling.

He said they are also worried about the safety of the water as the tanks have never been serviced since they were installed.

We found Zodwa Nogwada and her neighbour Lindeka Gcogco washing school uniforms and clothing at the river about two kilometres from their homes.

“We’re always worried about our safety when we are here in the river, because the river is far away,” said Nogwada. “Most of the people coming to the river are females, because we have to do laundry for our children.”

“We urge the municipality to please fix the taps because we can’t wait for an incident to happen … It’s been years without water now,” said Gcogco.

Sbongiseni Yoyo said people working during the day miss out when the water is delivered to the tanks, and they have to buy water when they return from work. She pays people R250 a week to get water for her as she works all week.

eThekwini municipality spokesperson Gugu Sisilana said the area is currently supplied by the Grange reservoir pump but it cannot meet the demand.

She said when the Quarry Heights water supply project is completed, the area will have a full water supply again. She said land acquisition had delayed the project. She could not give a date when the project will be complete.

One of eight water tanks supplied by the eThekwini municipality.

TOPICS:  Water

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