Covid-19 hotspot in Mpumalanga running low on water

The Govan Mbeki Municipality’s water supply has been throttled amid claims that it owes RandWater money. The high lying areas in Secunda, Trichardt and Kinross have been hit the hardest – some faced with intermittent water supply for several months now.

Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Mariaan Chamberlain says residents are extremely frustrated.

“Currently we are on 50% reduction. Some time again we were just under 40, just before Christmas. We started in 2017, I think on 20% because of non-payment.  So, we’re now in a situation with RandWater where the municipality can cover the current account and they are happy with that. Every 45 days we pay them R50 million however now they want us to pay the outstanding balance as well or at least start paying that balance, which at this point we cannot afford,” said Chamberlain.

Chamberlain estimates a debt of more than R2.3 million.

“We haven’t had the latest one but I think the last one was R2.3 million. I’m not sure what the latest figure is, it might be more. The water shortage has caused disruptions for residents and businesses. You’ve got babies that you need to wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning to get them in a bath because then there might be a little bit of water. How do you wake up a 5-year-old child so that he can have a bath? It’s unfair,” she said.

“It’s hot, it’s Covid times, you need to sanitise, you need to wash your hands. You cannot do your washing, you cannot cook, you cannot bath your children, you yourself cannot bath, I think the municipality needs to step up,” she added.

The water utility is expected to meet with the municipality’s technical team soon.

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