Breyten residents left without water, MLM keeps mum

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GK CRONJE

12 July 2022

A slew of residents in Breyten, Chrissiesmeer and surrounding areas have been sitting with bone dry taps, or sporadic water supply of a mere two hours per day.

Despite a successful complaint by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), the residents in Breyten and surrounding areas are still left without water for days on end, with little to nothing forthcoming from Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) in terms of a solution to the water woes. In addition to the water issues, allegations have also surfaced that a generator has “vanished”, reportedly leaving the Torbenite pump all but useless. MLM simply and blatantly ignored the enquiry set forth by the Tribune regarding the generator. A slew of residents in Breyten, Chrissiesmeer and surrounding areas have been sitting with bone dry taps, or sporadic water supply of a mere two hours per day. The water issues in Breyten have been escalating for more than a year, with nothing but golden promises and poor excuses forthcoming from the municipality.

“For weeks we have been without water here in Breyten. The water supply is restored from sporadically, and after a short while there are no water in the taps. How is it acceptable for us to live like this?” a resident of Breyten lamented to the Tribune ePaper. According to complaints, the stunted operation of the Torbenite pump is to blame for the struggles experienced by residents on the daily. Despite the big hoopla that had been made by the National Government regarding the Greater Breyten Water Supply Scheme Project, which will be completed in 2024, residents still suffer on a daily basis, with the 2024 completion date being but a speck on the dry horizon.

“I work at a mine near Breyten, and the useless municipality expects me to make do with no water for weeks on end. It is a struggle on a daily basis, and Msukaligwa Local Municipality just doesn’t care. They don’t answer their phones, they don’t respond to complaints. They simply ignore us as if we are rubbish,” another resident stated. The promised water tankers from MLM also rarely make their arrival. “If the tankers arrive to deliver water, it is during the day. We are all at work during daytime, a tanker arriving at a closed door helps bugger all. The municipality just talks a load of rubbish, and makes empty promises that they fail to fulfill,” an extremely irate resident told the Tribune ePaper.

A large collective or residents have had absolutely no water since February 2021, and it’s not getting any better. Empty promises and tall tales from Msukaligwa Local Municipality further frustrates residents, and a complete lack of response from ward councillors further fan the flames.