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City ready for water shutdown

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They also gave the municipality a thumbs up for thorough communication regarding the interruptions scheduled from last night until Sunday night.

Trucks filling up with water ahead of the shutdown. Picture: Soraya Crowie

KIMBERLEY residents on Thursday indicated that they are ready for this weekend’s water shutdown.

They also gave the municipality a thumbs up for thorough communication regarding the interruptions scheduled from last night until Sunday night.

Water outlets throughout the city did experience an influx of clients on Thursday after lunchtime as residents started stocking up drinking water.

In preparation the Sol Plaatje Municipality closed off the road from the corner of Jacobus Smit Avenue until the T-Junction at Reservoir Road on Wednesday night to allow municipal water trucks to fill up at the Newton Reservoir.

The water trucks will be used to fill Jojo tanks that were placed at various locations across the city. The roads are expected to be closed for the entire weekend.

City residents heeded the warning two weeks ago regarding the scheduled water interruption which will allow the municipality to conduct repairs and replace air valves on the bulk supply line.

Air valves will be installed on 14 points on the mainline that runs from the Midlands.

Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said several water tankers and jojo tanks will be provided in several wards while businesses, schools and hospitals were requested to ensure an adequate water supply.

Matsie gave the assurance that levels at the Newton Reservoir will be kept at maximum to ensure that the supply of water is restored after work is complete.

CEO of the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce Industry (Nocci), Sharon Steyn, also applauded the municipality for playing open cards and being upfront with the timeframe of the interruption.

She said it gave businesses and residents enough time to stock up on water.

“It will be difficult for businesses, mostly the ones without jojo tanks because it means that they will have to send their staff home earlier.

“But the reality is that it needs to be done and the pipes have to be maintained,” said Steyn.

“The big question is why was it not communicated in the same manner before?”, she asked. “I just hope they stick to the schedule and communicate and correspond regularly during the process.

“That is how it is supposed to be done. We will be the ones to determine whether it is right or wrong. They must not lie.”

Steyn said if the municipality can be upfront it will make it easier for the business sector to help out and meet it halfway during emergencies.

“Hairdressers usually have jojo tanks as backup but old age homes and hospitals are the ones that will definitely require support this weekend,” she pointed out.

A resident in Ipopeng, Johan Zama, said he was ready for the water interruption and started stocking up on water on Wednesday night.

“I believe we will survive the weekend with dry taps because we were warned. We must by now be used to water interruptions in Kimberley because it happens every night.

“But this time it seems the municipality had planned it well and keeping the public informed is a good thing. No one can tell me that they did not know about it and are not well prepared.”

The assistant manager of Oasis in the Northern Cape, Abram Ramrag, was confident that they have stocked up enough water for the entire weekend.

He said they have five operational water outlets and a factory in Kimberley.

According to Ramrag the outlets started experiencing a high influx of customers around 3pm on Thursday.

“We just hope that interruptions will stick to the scheduled time,” said Ramrag.