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Still no clean running water for Sand River community

Some taps had been installed in Sand River by the City of Mbombela before the local elections in 2016, but the community members claim they have had no drop of water to this day.

The residents of Sand River Trust near Hazyview said they have been living on promises the City of Mbombela (CoM) had made in 2021 to supply them with water.

They said since then, the situation has worsened as even the water tankers had stopped supplying water, and they are now forced to buy drinking water from water tankers contracted to the municipality. Those who cannot afford to pay for this are drawing water from a nearby stream.

The residents say the CoM had installed some taps in the small village just before the local elections in 2016, but after that, not a drop of water had been provided.

ALSO READ: CoM promises to resolve water issues in Sand River

Previously, the CoM’s spokesperson, Joseph Ngala, said the municipality was working on supplying water to the affected villages, including Sand River. He said the municipality now has a share in the Hoxane Water Treatment Plant and was in the process of installing a water pump booster.

That was six months ago, and the residents say their taps are still as dry as they always had been. Some of the residents told Hazyview Herald that they lost confidence that CoM would resolve this matter, and accused the ward councillor, Sipho Makhubela, for not doing anything about the water crisis in the area.

ALSO READ: Sand River waterless for seven years

One of the residents, Vusi Nyathikazi, said when the municipality promised them to resolve the problem, he knew that was another empty promise. “What pains the most are that there are water taps in our yards and the fact that the Nyongane Bulk Water System in our area was finished a long time ago, but we still don’t have water. Now the tankers are selling water to us that we are supposed to get for free. So the municipality has failed us, but we will deal with them in the next elections,” he said.

Bongani Mhlanga said their patience will soon run out, and they will embark on serious protests that will see them being heard. “We are not demanding a lot from the municipality, we are just asking for water, which is a basic human right. We have had taps installed in our yards for seven years now, but still no water comes out of them. We can see the municipality is doing it deliberately, because their water tankers earn money from our desperation,” he said.

Makhubela said he would not respond to the community’s accusations and referred the matter to Ngala. Ngala acknowledged having received the paper’s enquiry, but by the time of publishing, he had not yet responded.

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