The municipality is often blamed for ineptitude, neglect and deceit, but sometimes unfairly so.
This week we received a complaint from a Bathurst resident who said her domestic worker had told her Nolukhanyo residents had no water and that the communal tanks there had been empty for at least a week.
TotT is aware that Bathurst had reached Day Zero at the end of December, after restrictions initially limited supply to every alternate day. But apparently some water has been coming through the municipal supply, even if it is a trickle at most.
The resident who complained on behalf of her domestic worker said she was independent of the municipal supply, having her own source – whether borehole or rainwater we do not know – but was kept apprised of the situation on a community WhatsApp group.
She said she did not realise how dire the situation was.
We told the resident as far as we know, the municipality regarded Bathurst as one of the areas hardest hit by the water crisis, and had been delivering water daily to the tanks it had placed in strategic areas for residents to be able to collect water.
The resident replied, and understandably so, that the municipality saying they do it, and actually doing it, are two different things.
We sent a query to the director of infrastructural development, via municipal spokesperson Cecil Mbolekwa.
The initial answer came from deputy director Onke Sopela, who said: “There is a water truck that is delivering water to Bathurst/Nolukhanyo, filling the tanks on a daily basis.”
Mbolekwa added to this, saying: “Yes indeed, trucks are still supplying water to Bathurst. The members of the community are allowed to indicate if in a particular area there is no water, also people are encouraged to phone the municipality and indicate which areas are not receiving water. It must also be noted that it is Bathurst and Port Alfred that are severely affected by water shortages. If trucks are not coming it might be that they are servicing the other side.”
He said the municipality disagreed that water tanks had been dry for a week.
Residents will have to decide who is telling the truth.
TotT knows that water tankers are filling up at hydrants in Kenton-on-Sea and also carting water from Kleinemonde. If this water is not being taken to areas where it is needed, then where is it going?
We have also heard reports of waste of this scarce resource in this time of crisis. If you know of this, contact us.
– Jon Houzet