27 October 2015 at 2:33pm
By: NOMASWAZI NKOSI
Pretoria – Water leaks and the reluctance by the City of Tshwane to repair them are contributing to water shortages in the city – yet, at the same time, the metro imposes restrictions on water usage by residents.
This state of affairs has angered residents who spoke to the Pretoria News almost a week after the city urged them to use water sparingly due to the shortages.
According to the residents, water could be saved if the city repaired leaking pipes.In Waltloo a leaking pipe is believed to be sending an estimated 34 000 litres of water down the road daily. In terms of the council notice, temporary water restrictions have been implemented across the city until further notice.
Residents were urged not to water their gardens between 6am and 6pm, wash their vehicles with hosepipes, or fill swimming pools.
They were also barred from watering gardens using hosepipes or sprinklers.Christo Oosthuizen, who works in Waltloo, said he had called the municipality several times requesting that the water leakage outside his place of work be attended to.
“I sent an e-mail on July 22; I saw the leak when I was leaving work and reported it immediately,” Oosthuizen said.
The water leakage is on Toop Street, and is just one of many across the city.
Oozthuizen was given a reference number and made follow-up calls, but nothing has been done about the leak.
“I did the calculations and in a minute, 24 litres are wasted, totalling 34 560 litres each day. It has been 89 days since I first reported the leak,” Oosthuizen said.
Mamelodi Hostel is another place where water pours down the drain.Patrick Lekala, 41, has been living at the hostel since 1996 and said there was very limited water supply in the hostel, with just a shower area used by about 512 residents.But three of the showers have leakages, so do the taps in the basin.
He said they had been complaining about the water wastage.Another tap in the basins is also plastic.Johannes Lebelo, 68, has been living in the hostel since 1975 and said the water leaks in the communal showers had been going on for about two years.
He said most of the people living in the hostel used the communal showers.In Atteridgeville, a house has water leaking from a meter, and the owners said this had been the case for as long as they could remember.
Their monthly bill was just R300, because they were registered as indigent.The owners said they had reported the leakage several times, but nothing had been done.
City of Tshwane spokesman Selby Bokaba said there was a council resolution that water leakages should be repaired within 48 hours.However, he said this was impossible as a result of staff shortages, a problem the human resources department was working hard to resolve.
“However, people should realise that if there is a leakage, it has to be reported to us so that we can send a team out to repair it. We endeavour to repair the leakages, but only if we are aware of them.
”He referred questions on water restrictions to Rand Water, saying the bulk supplier issued the notice on the implementation of restricted usage, not the city.
But Rand Water spokesman Justice Mohale said the utility informed the city that the system was under pressure as a result of a high consumption.
“The intention of such communication was to alert that if they could not control the usage by their customers, we would be forced into a situation where we had to implement restricted usage.”
“All we said was that they system was under pressure, but Tshwane metro thought we were implementing restrictions.
“At the time, the reservoirs were about 20 to 30 percent full. But the situation has improved now and they are at almost 50 percent. “We are only happy when they are filled between 60 and 90?percent.
As I’m talking it is raining. It would boosts the capacity of Rand Water’s reservoirs.”Pretoria News