Angry community members in Hartbeespoort who had been without water for three days, on Monday closed a municipal fire hydrant in Melodie from where water tankers transport millions of litres of water daily.
“We haven’t been able to bathe, we have no water in our taps, and seeing all these trucks pumping our water into tankers to drive away to other areas was just too much,” an upset community member said. “We have had enough. Why, when we don’t have water, is water being taken away to other areas?’ The fire hydrant was closed while a number of tankers were waiting to fill up and the situation got tense. More community members joined and ward councillors and Madibeng officials were called to the scene.
Meerhof, Ifafi and Melodie had little and no water over the weekend after Randwater experienced problems replacing a bulk meter last week. In the meantime, water tankers transport water from the Randwater pipeline in Hartbeespoort to rural areas north of Brits.
According to one contractor on site, they had approximately 12 trucks, each carrying 20 000 litres, that fill up as much as three times a day at the fire hydrant. Community members were outraged and refused to let the trucks pump water.
Ward councillor Claudie Greenwoood-Selby requested Madibeng’s acting director of technical services to come out to the scene to explain the situation to disgruntled community members.
“Acting director technical services, Levy Motlhamme, agreed to the request that trucks are no longer allowed to get water in Hartbeespoort while residents are themselves experiencing water shortages. He also said the municipality will install an additional pressure reduction valve in the affected area to prevent water pipes from bursting, causing water shortages,” said Greenwood-Selby.
“Unfortunately he could not give a timeline, but we will keep the pressure on the municipality. He referred my question about who is paying for the Randwater being carted away to the financial department. With all the money Madibeng is spending on water tankers, they could have easily sunk boreholes in all the rural areas with no water supply.”