Residents of Hillshaven have experienced a water shortage since the early hours of Monday, 4 May, and to date, there has not been any communication from the municipality.
What is even more worrying is that the community claims there is a health hazard emanating from the water supplied by the tankers. According to them, the water is contaminated, and several cases of diarrhoea have been reported as a result.
The chairperson of the Hillshaven Home Owners’ Association, Jacob Banda, said the municipality’s failure to communicate details of when the water supply will be restored fully is at the heart of the issue.
“No communication is ever sent to the community to advise us that the water is to be switched off, despite the fact that doing so would assist the community to be better prepared,” Jacob said.
He said even though there are water tankers, the water is not suitable for human consumption, as people in the area have become ill after using it.
Jacob said the community members are even more disappointed at the service they are receiving, as some of the municipal officials are members of the community WhatsApp group.
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He claimed further that officials within the municipality are aware of the issue. He also said the time-frame within which the community was promised that the water supply would be restored, has lapsed several times.
“We were told yesterday that the supply would be restored within five hours, but at the end of that time, we still did not have water. The municipality always says it’s attending to the issues, but unfortunately it never happens as promised, and that is our biggest frustration,” he added.
Another resident, Walla Mulder, complained that the current outage was the third of the year, saying that the community was without water for a week during May.
Theo Scholtz, also a resident, said there was another issue with the truck, namely that the drivers are rude and impatient. Some residents have also claimed that the truck drivers are under the influence of alcohol and/ or drugs while on duty.
Walla said further that the residents who are severely ill, especially the elderly, suffer most when the water is turned off.
“The water is just turned off, with no notice whatsoever,” she said.
Theo added, “It seems that whenever they work on the Borwa water project, we are affected”.
Asked about the health issues caused by the water supplied by the tankers, residents said many people in the area have stomach ailments with some claiming to have been to doctors.
“The situation is not only costing us medically, it’s also costing us electricity, because we have to boil the water before we can use it,” Walla said.
Another resident, Mantoa Buthelezi, angrily said: “Someone has made the stupid decision for us to be without water. We elected the councillor, so he needs to man-up. If he does not have the balls to do the job properly, he must resign! We are tired – we leave for work and come back to our homes still without water. We are people, and we need to wash.”
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