Joburgers rage at water boards on social media after a days-long water outage

  • City of Johannesburg, Johannesburg water and Rand Water have been struggling to return the supply of water after an incident earlier this week.
  • Despite power supply returning to the Eikenhof pump station, many areas of Johannesburg are still without water.
  • Angry residents have taken to social media to voice their displeasure and anger over the situation where many haven’t had water for close to five days and no end in sight.

On Monday evening a flash-over occurred at the Eikenhof substation which feeds power to a Rand Water pump station. This left the pump station without power and soon, many areas of Johannesburg were without water.

On Thursday many areas were still without water despite repairs to Eikenhof substation being complete on Wednesday. The city has deployed water tankers to certain areas of Johannesburg but the fact that parts of the city haven’t had water since Tuesday is incredibly alarming.

Reservoirs and towers throughout Johannesburg are still critically low and poor pressure plagues residents who do have water. This is to be expected as once water returns, folks tend to use that water. This drains the reservoirs and towers, requiring more water to be pumped.

It doesn’t help that Johannesburg Water’s updates are slow and, frankly speaking, not very informative as several residents have highlighted.

“Where is the update for Commando system?!?! Last update 11 hours ago?
Crosby, Brixton and surrounding. We haven’t had water for 3 days. Pumping was stopped and we not told why. When will water be restored?” one resident said.

One user on Facebook noted how ironic it was that residents were asked to fix leaks on their property when the individual is able to spot burst pipes and “mountains of water being wasted flowing down the roads”.

Many users have urged others to remember this incident when voting on 29th May.

The journey water takes from Eikenhof to other parts of the city is likely hampered by loadshedding as without power, water pumps can’t function. Furthermore, water towers including Quellerina and Waterval can’t be filled until other systems recover which causes a delay in water returning to residents in the area.

This process has been likely further hampered by Eskom’s upgrade to Stage 4 loadshedding at night and Stage 2 loadshedding during the day.

As mentioned, Johannesburg Water has placed water tankers in suburbs around the city but there are only really a few. In the central Johannesburg region for example there are just four tankers available. The tankers are also moved so check the Johannesburg Water account for the most up-to-date locations of tankers.

It’s not clear how the City of Johannesburg, Rand Water or Johannesburg Water intend to guard against this sort of incident from happening again but that sure would make for interesting reading ahead of an election.

For many Johannesburg residents, there is not much else to do but wait for the sound of water filling the pipes to return.

[Image – Jeyaratnam Caniceus from Pixabay]


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