Joburg Water says recovery should begin today
The widespread water outage that has been plaguing Johannesburg’s southern suburbs for several days is expected to be resolved soon, with recovery to begin on Monday evening.
Joburg Water spokesperson Puleng Mopeli said while the Alexander Park Reservoir was stable, monitoring was ongoing at the South Hills Tower where the water level was critically low due to insufficient supply.
“It is estimated recovery may commence later this evening,” Mopeli said on Monday.
Suburbs that fall within the South Hills tower zone include Risana, Linmeyer, South Hills, Tulisa Park, Steeledale, The Hill, Oakdene, Rosettenville and Klipriviersberg estate.
He said alternative water supply, through water tanks and mobile tankers, was being provided at key sites.
Joburg Water was urging all customers to reduce their water consumption to critical needs only while the system recovers.
Mopeli said there had been steady improvements in the affected areas in and around Johannesburg, with supply to the Linksfield Reservoir restored on Saturday and the Alexander Park reservoir zone challenges resolved on Sunday.
Meanwhile, residents of Linmeyer, South Hills and surrounding areas said they are frustrated by repeated outages which have plagued them for the past two years.
Local ward councillor Michael Crichton believes most issues stem from Rand Water infrastructure challenges. He said recent outages include:
- an explosion at the Palmiet pumping station last July which left residents without water for nine days;
- a power failure at the Zuikerbosh purification plant a month later that left residents without water for eight days; and
- the water outage which has now been ongoing for four days.
“These water outages are nothing short of a full-blown humanitarian crisis,” Crichton wrote in an open letter to water and sanitation minister Senzo Mchunu.
Neighbouring ward councillor Faeeza Chama appealed to residents of the affected areas to join a peaceful protest gathering set to take place at 22 Impala Road, Dikole Section in Johannesburg South on Monday afternoon from 2.30pm.
“We are doing this because we don’t believe all the different stories we are being told. Today is effectively day 5 with no water and we have been told taps will be restored by this afternoon. I know for a fact that they cannot restore us until the tower level is at 30%, and it is only at 26%,” Chama said.
She said they had been told the cause of the outage was again an explosion at the Zuikerbosch plant, but this was not an acceptable excuse because last time they were assured there would be a backup plan should this happen again.
“Clearly the authorities have failed to deliver on that promise.”