Eastern Cape legislature secretary Vuyani Mapolisa said on Tuesday: “The provincial legislature has been affected by water supply problems in Bhisho, which is also affecting the [operations] of the legislature.”
He said the water supply crisis began last week and had affected the entire Bhisho area.
“The legislature has had to resort to using its water tank reserves from last week until it ran out this week,” Mapolisa said.
The situation was so bad the legislature’s management had been compelled to release staff from work early, Mapolisa said.
“All ablution and water-reliant facilities within the institution are not usable due to this challenge and this situation is a potential health hazard.
“The management decision is in compliance with the prescripts of the occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act, where it says: ‘Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health and safety of his employees’.”
Mapolisa said the Bhisho administration had met with Buffalo City officials to resolve the crisis.
“The shortage of water is affecting the functioning of the institution and we will advise the public once the matter has been resolved.
“The legislature is liaising with Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality to resolve the crisis.
“The legislature sends its sincerest apology to the public and the legislature community as a whole for the inconvenience this situation may have caused.”
BCM acting spokesperson Bathandwa Diamond had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.
Bhisho Rates and Services Payers Association spokesperson Onela Mangxola said residents started receiving water in a “drip-feed” last week before the outages occurred.
“We have five or six areas in Bhisho. The situation worsened.
“We have not had any communication from BCM. The only communication we’ve had from them was about a burst pipe on January 4 via radio (communication).
“The councillor is quiet, there were no notices via the newspaper. People are not aware of what’s really going on,” he said.