Cape Town - It's been close to two weeks that residents from Blue Downs and its surrounding areas have been without water.
The water supply was shut down due to a severely leaking 650mm diameter water supply pipeline. An assessment of the leaking pipeline was done last weekend, but repairs only started yesterday.
Water trucks have been deployed to the affected areas, however residents believe there is not enough water for everyone.
Rodney Sirmongpong, from Forest Village, said he was perturbed about the water situation.
“For the past three to four days my water has been off. I spoke to the councillor and she told me the pipe had burst. However, for the past two months now, people are always asking, is your area’s water off? Are water pipes bursting on a regular basis or what? The amount of water trucks for the number of people is not calculated.”
Community activist and member of the Cape Coloured Congress for ward 17 Mario Abrahams said he was concerned about the well-being of people, including pensioners, who have to wait in long lines for water.
“The water trucks have not been arriving on time, as per schedule. Yesterday the water trucks came earlier than expected, and people had to rush. Those who missed the water trucks had no water, and financially people can’t afford to buy water. There is also not enough water for washing and sanitation. What must happen to those who must take medication or go to school?”
The City's Mayco member for water and sanitation, Zahid Badroodien, said: “Staff are on site and have started replacing the 650mm pipeline, but during excavation, it was found that the flange adaptor that connects the two different pipes was damaged by the high pressure water leak.
“The City’s Equipment and Asset Management Department is now busy manufacturing a fitting that will secure the new pipeline to the existing network so the work can be completed and the water restored.
“We want to assure residents that the department will have five water tankers rotating through as many communities as possible. These locations will be communicated by the councillors. Schools and other vulnerable groups in the affected areas will be prioritised,” Badroodien said.
“The Water and Sanitation Department is expected to restore water to the area by 8pm today,” he said.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer's spokesperson, Kerry Mauchline, said: “The disruption of water supply as a result of a severe pipe burst in the area is concerning, however the City has assured us that they are currently working on the problem and anticipates restoration of water by later today.
“The City has indicated that five water tankers are rotating through the affected areas and that schools and other vulnerable groups will be prioritised. Schools are requested to report emergencies to the Head Office (on CEMIS) to receive the necessary support from the WCED.”