Kimberley residents have experienced times of no water and times with low water pressure for the last week.
Most residents have clearly lost faith in the ability of Sol Plaatje Municipality to effectively run and maintain the City’s water infrastructure.
Kimberley has been plagued by intermittent water problems since the last big water crisis ended on 22 October 2013, but during the last week many people woke up or got home only to find their taps dry and no information coming from Sol Plaatje Municipality’s information systems. On the other hand local resident, Sharon Steyn, has been using her free time to monitor the situation and trying to obtain information from Sol Plaatje while keeping Kimberley residents up to date with the situation.
The current problem started on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 when a pipe burst at Newton reservoir turning Waterworks Street into a small river once again. The Kimberley CBD, Greenpoint and other areas were left without water. On December 25th water was still flowing down Waterworks Street. Sharon was told that the burst pipe has been fixed but that another pipe has burst.
Sol Plaatje Municipality stated that there is a new number, 053 830 6442, and all infrastructure problems should be reported there.
On the 26th of December the problems were still unresolved. Sharon was told that Municipal workers are busy at Riverton. At this time water was flooding the yards and houses next to Newton Reservoir. Officials from Sol Plaatje Municipality were not responding.
On the evening of 26 December Sharon once again visited the Newton reservoir to try and get some answers, and was told by the Municipal workers that they could not locate the key for the lock on the Waterworks gates, and thus work could not continue. The night staff’s hands were effectively cut.
On 28 December problems still persisted and it was virtually impossible to get through to the new Sol Plaatje Emergency number.
Today, almost a week later, problems still persist. Herlear, Klisserville and Newpark have no water. Sharon enquired at about 08:40 today, and was told that the water would be back on within the next half hour.
Hopefully this is not a sign of what is in store for Kimberley Residents for 2014, that our new Mayor will get Service Delivery in the Sol Plaatje Municipality up to speed and restore resident’s confidence in the Municipality.
We also extend our greatest thanks to Sharon Steyn, who continues to fight for service delivery in the City of Kimberley. She is not a public official and uses her own time and resources to put pressure on the municipality and to keep Kimberley Residents informed.
Thank you Sharon!