Tafelsig residents upset with water cuts

Angry Tafelsig residents.

People living in homes on Tafelsig’s highest point have been experiencing water cuts every week for the past four months.

More than 15 Tafelsig residents, from Stella Street upwards, have had their water off for episodes of up to 48 hours at a time.

The reason appears to be the reduction of water pressure during the drought and the implementation of Level 5 water restrictions.

The residents are now fed-up with the inconvenience of not having water.

They do not know when the taps will run dry and when their supply will return and are demanding that the City of Cape Town come to investigate and fix the problem.

Ayesha Johnston, who lives in Alma Close, said their water stops for many hours almost every day and they have to make alternative arrangements.

She said they have complained about the water supply for months but the issue has not been sorted out.

“When the workers came out to fix the problem they said it is a water pressure issue. They have said that the water bar should be on two but is on zero. We live on the highest point in Tafelsig, so we are the last people to get water. The workers also said the City will install pumps, so that there is sufficient water for when it reaches the residents in Alma and Allison streets and along Stella Street, but nothing yet,” she said.

The Plainsman visited the affected homes on Friday September 8.

There had been no water in the taps since 7am. This lasted until Sunday September 10.

Opening the tap, to show how nothing but a few drops fell out, Alma Close resident Karriem Sage said they cannot bath, make food and do their washing because the water could switch off at any time for many hours.

“It switched off at 7am this morning (Friday), it will be off until tonight if we are lucky. We have to go to other people for water to make a bottle for our baby, that’s how bad it is,” said Mr Sage.

Wife Fatima Sage said they also had no water on Eid, Friday September 1. “How were we supposed to make food for our families? How were we to be clean and bathe on our holy day? Clearly the City doesn’t consider us. And it is not as if they are not aware of our issue, we have informed them, but they have come up with no solution,” she said.

Shahieda van Rooy said when she wakes up at 5.30am to pray there is no water. She then has to fetch two bottles of water from somebody else’s home down the road.

“At about 9am, when we open the tap, the water is brown, it comes out but only a little and then it switches off. It will then be off until the next day at about 3am where you will get about 10 litres of water, well if you are lucky. So this is why we are angry, while other residents get to use water, we have to go without it and still pay a water bill at the end of the month,” she said.

Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south, said the pressure reduction is likely to result in intermittent supply in higher-lying areas when water demand in the supply zone rises above targeted levels. “Residents are advised to keep two to five litres of drinking water at hand for emergency purposes. The City is investigating the complaint referred to and will either adjust pressure or provide an emergency water supply, depending on circumstances,” he said.