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Ermelo embroiled in water woes


10 May 2022

Yet, after the repairs are apparently completed, residents are still left high and dry.

While hundreds of residents sit with dry taps, complaints fall on deaf ears at Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM). The majority of Ermelo East has been without water for more than two weeks. Cassim Park residents have been sitting with dry taps for more than a week, with no reprieve from the municipality. A multitude of residents in Wesselton, Everest and Thusiville experiences a daily struggle with water. The issue is further aggravated by the fact that the dilapidated water pipes, of which some are over twenty years old, are bursting one after the other due to the fluctuating temperatures. Over the weekend, a fire hydrant near Cassim Park Hall was allegedly damaged by a municipal water tanker, and subsequently gushed a stream of potable water for approximately three hours, with no response from municipal departments. While this was ongoing, the enraged residents of Cassim Park, who were already without water, were in for a surprise, and were left with hands in hair. At the time of publication, sections of Cassim Park were still without water.

According to MLM, the differences in diameters of the old and new pipes are also an issue for the municipal teams, where jerry-rigging has to be implemented to patch the crumbling water network. Now, even worse, the abysmal response time from the municipality leaves even more residents with dry taps. Complaints from the community include the fact that there is absolutely no feedback from the municipality. When feedback is eventually received, the municipality beats around the bush with implausible explanations. Yet, after the repairs are apparently completed, residents are still left high and dry. Residents have had it in chunks with poor excuses from the municipality, which range from inoperable generators at the pump station, to Eskom load shedding, and at one time, a resident was told that the municipal load reduction has an effect on the pumping capacity of the reservoirs. The Democratic Alliance has went as far as to label the water outage in Msukaligwa as a gross violation of human rights, which isn’t far from the truth.

Many questions have also been raised by the community, with some members claiming that the municipality is allegedly rationing the water supply in an attempt to save on their Rand Water debt. This stems from the fact that the water supply is adequate at late hours of the evening and early morning hours in some areas, but the supply dwindles as soon as day breaks. Despite meeting upon meeting between the business chamber and the municipality, all the talk shows no fruition. An enquiry has been sent to Msukaligwa Local Municipality, and feedback will be published in due course. You may view more photos and videos on our Facebook page, Tribune Ermelo.

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