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By Marizka Coetzer


Water outage ‘sabotage’

Valve tampering disrupted supply to Rethabiseng area, says City of Tshwane.

An act of water outage sabotage was to blame for residents in Rethabiseng being left without water for a prolonged period.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba said the acts of sabotage were to blame for the prolonged water outage in the area.

“Some regions experienced a prolonged water outage which has since been resolved. Now it has come to the city’s attention that there’s a deliberate act of sabotage in Rethabiseng aimed at denying the residents their human right of access to water,” he said.

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Ongoing challenges and response

“Some of the city’s customers in Region 7 were forced to endure a prolonged water outage following complications which developed when technicians were fixing a major leak on a main bulk pipeline that supplies Zithobeni Reservoir last Wednesday.

“Water supply has since been restored to all low-lying areas except the high-lying areas of Ekangala and Rethabiseng. The act of the opening of the valve may be one of the contributing factors to why those two areas still don’t have water. Technicians have rushed to the site and closed the Rethabiseng valve tightly and are still inspecting other valves to ensure they are closed,” he said.

Bokaba said it was clear that some people had tampered with the valve to deny residents access to water. City manager Johann Mettler has condemned the act of sabotage.

“When you open a valve so that people can’t have water supply it shows that you don’t have a conscience and intend to kill people. That’s evil and barbaric.

“We condemn such behaviour and hope law enforcement will investigate this criminal act and bring the perpetrators to book.” Political analyst Khanya Vilakazi said the link between crime and politics was not far-fetched.

“There have been incidents where such acts of infrastructure damage were done deliberately by people who were going to gain in some way…

“If a community doesn’t have water, the municipality has to get water tanks to supply water. These subcontractors get the job and make [money] off it.”

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