Irate residents of the city are no longer willing to listen to Polokwane Municipality’s excuses for the low reservoir levels that have left households and businesses without water, some for as long as four days.
“The municipality has a civil responsibility to provide a sustained water supply to its residents and is required to have effective measures in place to deal with situations of this nature. It is not enough to deploy water tankers,” a resident said and wanted to know why the reservoir levels are never topped up to capacity when water is available to enable surplus capacity while sudden bulk supply limitations are experienced. “We have also not received any recent communication from the municipality to indicate when water will be available again,” another resident said.
The municipality blames Lepelle Northern Water (LNW), as bulk supplier, for the crisis and LNW passes the buck to the local communities which have allegedly halted operations at the Olifantspoort plant on Monday.
Spokesperson for LNW, Simon Mpamonyane, said that operations at the Olifantspoort plant resumed on Tuesday. “The reservoir levels would have been rehabilitated within a reasonable time thereafter, was it not for the fact that a major pipe break occurred at the Ebenezer plant on Thursday,” Mpamonyane said and explained that reservoirs are filling up slowly while water is used at the same time.
Communications and Marketing Manager of the municipality, Matshidiso Mothapo, could not be reached to obtain an estimate of when water supply will be restored.
Story and photo: BARRY VILJOEN