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Concern over leaking water pipe in Ritchie

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Ritchie residents say they have been waiting for three weeks for the pipe to be repaired.

THERE is growing concern among Ritchie residents about a leaking underground water pipe in Neptune Street that is resulting in the wastage of millions of litres of clean water. 

According to the residents they have been waiting for three weeks for a TLB (tractor-loader-backhoe) to be sent from Kimberley to repair the pipe.

The community members fear that they will soon be left with no water as the pressure inb their taps is decreasing.

Residents yesterday accused Sol Plaatje employees of being lazy and using the TLB as an excuse to claim overtime.

A community member, Naithen Anthony, said his previous attempts to get the municipality to fix the pipe were unsuccessful.

Anthony said he even requested the municipality to give him the tools to fix the pipe himself.

“The first time a municipal worker was sent here, he just peeped out of the van he was driving and said the stream was caused by rain water. The disturbing part is that it had not rained for days before his visit,” said Anthony.

He added that he had then called the ward councillor, Norman Hammer, to complain about the worker’s attitude. 

He said he even challenged the councillor to come and inspect the leak himself, and to bring a shovel so that community members could fix the leaking pipe.

“I was surprised to hear him mention that they needed a TLB to access the leak, as the worker had a different story,” Anthony added.

Hammer confirmed on Monday that he was aware of the problem and had been engaging with the Sol Plaatje Municipality in Ritchie.

He said the pipe was leaking underground and the workers could not access the hole without a TLB.

“We are deeply concerned about this matter as it might lead to a bigger problem that could result in residents having no water. This is a minor leakage that needs to be fixed before it becomes a crisis,” said the councillor.

“The problem is that we do not have a TLB in Ritchie and one needs to be sent from Kimberley.

“My hands are tied. It is sad that I cannot enforce anything except to engage with the relevant directors,” said Hammer.

Sol Plaatje municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie could not be contacted for comment.