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Communicate more regularly

   23 February 2018   l   Ons lesers skryf...    l   Views: 38   l   26 days ago  


High and dry, Mookgophong, writes:

Some months ago it was reported that numerous projects were completed or in progress that would significantly improve water supply at Mookgophong.

If my memory serves me correct, it also stated that a new pipeline from the Frikkie Geyser Dam was to be connected and old asbestos pipes and leaking valves will be replaced. Pumps were also to be repaired.

I live in Ward 5 and we have not seen much improvement. In fact, during the last few weeks, water pressure was often low and at times there was no water at all. It was said that faulty borehole pumps and or electrical supply problems were mostly the cause. 

Taps ran dry again on Thursday morning 15 February and at 08:00 a WhatsApp message on the Sector 4 Municipal Services group stated a burst pipe near Waltkon would affect supply to some areas and that technicians were busy repairing it. Later that afternoon we still had no water and several enquiries were made without any response.

The following morning — after 24 hours without water — we received a message saying the reservoir would be opened and we could expect to have water later the day. Furthermore, it stated that a contractor was appointed to replace old asbestos pipes and leaking valves. (I thought this was reported before and that it had already been done?)

Several messages were sent on Friday 16 February at 16:00 — by then 32 hours without water — to find out what was happening. We received a message two hours later saying they will investigate the problem and report back. Again no word until a message at 07:37 the following day reported that the main supply pipe had burst and a contractor was repairing it. 

By then we were going for 48 hrs without water.

The next message came seven hours later at 14:46 reporting that the burst pipe had been unearthed and is ready to be repaired.

At 10:33 the next day (Sunday) it was reported that the leak had been repaired and the main supply opened. Where I live the water started flowing at 11:45, which means we were without water for 100 hours.

It puzzles me that the cause for disrupted supply was first reported to be a burst pipe at a drain which was detected by cleaners. Many hours later the main supply at the gholf course was found burst. Are there no continuous inspections and pressure drop signs to warn against possible failures? How much water did we lose before the repairs? Someone mentioned the reservoir was empty on Saturday.

The taxpayers have to endure this poor service delivery, yet it is expected that we settle accounts timeously and in full. Furthermore, water became rather costly, it increased from R5,59 to R11,63 per kl (96%) during the last three years. In 2015 it increased with 90%, in 2016 it was reduced by 8,13% and increased again by10% in 2017.

At this high cost, users not only expect clean water, but also a regular supply with acceptable pressure.

The Sector 4 municipal service WhatsApp group is there to communicate, but must also be used by the authorities to keep residents properly informed. It is awful not to have water, but it makes it so much worse if you do not know when you can expect it to normalize.

Many of us do not have the luxury of a borehole supplying water when the municipality fails to do so.

I sincerely hope the Municipal Technical Manager and others under his control who are responsible for water supply, read this letter and explain publically what their plans are to avoid these disruptions. Also to be more active in communicating on the WhatsApp groups provided for municipal issues. Just a reminder the tax payers who endure these inconveniences pay your salaries and benefits.




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