Water is a basic human right so we fully understand that there are occasions when the vital infrastructure that provides the water needs to receive maintenance. We, therefore, accept that Rand Water did advertise the 54-hour shut down for maintenance to take place on the B11 and B19 pipelines were advertised well in advance, albeit at an inconvenient period as some schools are busy with exams, and as Ward Councillors, we did our best to disseminate this information to our residents. However, this shutdown was advertised to take place from the 15th to 17th of November 2021. Our beleaguered residents emerged from the first two days relatively unscathed, but then the problems started at Water towers such as Forest Hill, South Hills, Crown Gardens and Meredale, on the 17th November and continued past the advertised period. What adds to our frustrations is that the communication from JHB Water and Rand Water has been exceptionally poor as there’s just been one media statement released.
What is more disappointing is that the water tanks dispatched by JHB Water were not sufficient to serve all the affected areas with some Wards not even receiving a single tank! There were some areas such as the South Rand Hospital that were advertised to have a water tank but it sadly did not materialize. This is even more alarming when you consider that the Southern Suburbs has hospitals, clinics, schools, ECD Centres and retirement homes in them. Not to mention the thousands of residents that have to go about their daily lives! JHB Water did request the Councilors to ask residents to store water as the requests for water tanks might be overwhelming. That we understood and duly did warn the residents. However, we did also expect them to provide water tanks, as it was advertised that they would.
The City of Johannesburg, unfortunately, doesn’t currently have a Government that can be held for this mess (the inaugural Council meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 22 November 2021) but as Councillors- elect we will be writing to the acting City Manager Mr Floyd Brink about this situation expressing our dissatisfaction about how this situation has been handled. In addition to this we will be submitting a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application and the Member of Parliament for Johannesburg South Hon. Manny de Freitas will submit a question to the national Parliament enquiring about this crisis. We also note with disappointment that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has declined to prosecute the case we opened against the then Member of the Mayor Committee (MMC) Councillor Mpho Moerane for the water crisis he presided over in July and August. We are reviewing the reasons they gave and will announce our next actions steps in due course as people need to be held accountable for the inadequate supply of water.
Cllr Michael Crichton – Ward 56
Cllr Tyrell Meyers (Ward 23)
Cllr Stuart Marais (Ward 54)
Cllr Rashieda Landis (Ward 55)
Cllr Faeeza Chame (Ward 57)
Cllr Matsobane Sekhu (Ward 125)
Hon. Manny de Freitas, MP
For further enquiries contact; –
Cllr Michael Crichton on 083 383-6366
Cllr Tyrell Meyers on 082-572 8925
Cllr Stuart Marais on 082 775-1332
Cllr Rashieda Landis on 083 752-6468
Cllr Faeeza Chame on 081 329-7424
Cllr Matsobane Sekhu on 072 737-6894
Hon. Manny de Freitas, MP on 082 788-6824