Alhambra residents left dry with no water

Alhambra Street is a muddy mess due to burst water pipes and repair work.

LENNOXTON – Alhambra Street residents demanded answers from the municipality, after a lack of water delivery.

For the past month, residents have faced continuous water cuts thanks to pipes bursting on a regular basis.

“We only get water two days in a week, and when we do it is muddy. Will the municipal manager and mayor brush their teeth and bath in muddy water?” fumed resident, Raj Singh.

Singh explained municipal workers fixed the pipes on an almost daily basis, and he felt as if residents were on the losing side of the battle.

“It is an inconvenience as we can’t shower, shave or anything. I have had to use my swimming pool’s water just to be able to flush my toilet.”

Singh believed Alhambra residents were being denied their rights.

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“We cannot live under these conditions, as water is a human right and necessity.”

Singh also complainedpet owners were unable to provide fresh water for their pets.

On Monday, July 3, a resident’s yard was flooded when yet another pipe burst.

“They should fix all the pipes at once, instead of doing it in randomly.

“This is unacceptable,” said another resident, who opted to remain anonymous.

Past repairs have left water and mud in the road, which was potentially hazardous to motorists.

One resident found themselves unable to use their vehicle as a hole was dug in front of their gate, and they could not access the street.

Demanding answers, residents felt they had the right to know what was being planned to resolve the water issues and improve water delivery.

Water Services Customer Relations Manager, Dr Dumisani Thabethe, said the municipality was working on solving the issue of burst pipes, not only in Alhambra Street but in Newcastle as a whole.

Dr Thabethe said funding to the value of R700-million was approved by Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).

“The challenge is that Newcastle Municipality’s MIG allocation is directed in such a way, that the infrastructure replacement programme is the main priority.

“The Technical Services Department has realised the urgency to replace infrastructure, and as a result we are negotiating to shift MIG funding to Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG).”

As the finance would be available with immediate effect, Dr Thabethe said the municipality had embarked on an infrastructure replacement programme, which was approved at the Municipal Infrastructure Grant level.

Dr Thabethe advised residents to contact the Water Services Call Centre on 0860 144 144 to report any burst pipes, so complaints could be captured in the system and attended to immediately.

Quinton Boucher

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