‘Our taps have been running dry for years,’ say Pietermaritzburg residents

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Another resident Mary Sishi, 60, said: “I should be at home but I can’t let others fight for me. I have a tap at home but it’s been dry for years.”

Sishi said she often struggled to take her medication daily because she did not have clean water at home. “My grandchildren help me fetch water. It is a distance from our house,” she said.

In bid to quell tensions, deputy mayor Zuma arrived to address protesters while heavily armed police and private security watched. He acknowledged that there was a “huge problem” with water supply and promised residents that water tankers would arrive by Thursday evening. But by 9am on Friday nothing had arrived.

He attributed the scarcity of water to the “growing population of residents”.

Zuma said the municipality was building a dam that would supply enough water to surrounding communities.

“There are 23,000 low-cost homes that were recently built in Vulindlela. People have showers and flushing toilets. That alone increases the demand of water,” he said.

Zuma also promised to return to the area on Sunday to meet with residents and discuss a long-term solution.

  • This article was originally published in GroundUp.





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