The Sol Paatje Municpality has once again been labelled as incompetent by Kimberley residents.
THE SOL Plaatje Municpality has once again been labelled as incompetent by Kimberley residents who were queuing to buy water from water outlets on Monday morning.
The city has experienced a water shutdown since Thursday, October 22, and the scheduled water interruption ran over schedule after a valve burst on the 965mm pipe.
Residents lined up at various water outlets to get some water as their taps were still dry on Monday morning.
One resident said she was surprised when she woke up early on Monday to get ready for work and found that her taps were still dry.
“This is really unacceptable. We had to prepare for a long weekend without water and were hopeful that we would have had water by Sunday. The original notification from the municipality indicated that water would be restored by Saturday. However, that did not happen and we gave them another day but even that was not enough.
“We are still without water. We are in a pandemic and water is a necessity to fight this virus, yet our municipality deems it necessary to interrupt the water supply to its residents,” she sighed.
Another resident said that the municipality was merely living up to its reputation.
“This municipality is famous for incompetence. Our roads are a mess, our water is a mess, our sewerage system is a mess. None of the services that are supposed to be provided by the municipality are up to standard. Kimberley is the capital city of the Northern Cape, but it is lagging far behind even the smaller towns when it comes to delivery of basic services.
“We are living in shame of our dirty streets which are daily filled with water or sewage due to blocked or broken pipes. People should have expected that the water would not be turned back on in time. The municipality has never been on schedule with its maintenance work,” he said.
Some outlets indicated that water was already sold out over the weekend.
The manager of Oasis in Du Toitspan Road, Adam Ramraj, said all four of their shops were sold out of water over the weekend.
“Our shop was sold out of water on Saturday morning already. The municipality turned the water off on Thursday evening and we had to fill up our tanks in order to have enough water to purify. Our other three shops also indicated that all their water had been sold out and all three shops had no water on Monday.
“We open at 8am and had to turn hundreds of customers away on Monday morning because we had no water stock. All four our shops have 52 500 litres of water capacity and all our tankers are currently empty because our taps are still dry.
“It is very frustrating for businesses because we rely on water, but if the municipality switches off the water then we will have no water to sell. We still have to pay our staff even though we are losing revenue,” Ramraj said.
The owner of Germar Biltong, Andre Slabbert, said it is not only residents who are impacted by water cuts, but small businesses as well.
“Water purification businesses whose income is totally reliant on the sale of water suffer greatly once the water is cut and not restored in time. There are several water purification outlets that have sold out their water over the weekend. Those businesses are unable to open today (Monday) because there is no water. That means that businesses had lost a big chunk of their revenue in just one day,” said Slabbert.
He said that they had to improvise when the water was interrupted on Thursday.
“We do not have huge purification tankers like other businesses. I had to take water from my house to my shop and fill up my purification tank in order to help customers. There was a huge need for water over the weekend.”
Slabbert said that his business was already low on water after they donated several bottles of water to farmers who were fighting the veld fires last week.