Metro failing leaking pipes, despite looming water crisis

Water has been leaking for over five months in Chantelle, in the north of Pretoria. Photo: Reitumetse Mahope.

Residents in the north of Pretoria are complaining about water leaks in two separate areas that have been reported to the Tshwane metro for months, without any results.

Sipho Masina from Chantelle said he has been trying for months to get a leaking pipe fixed.

“I first went to Akasia municipality to notify them about my issue, but I was told to go to Soshanguve to check with the manager there,” Masina said.

He said after several visits to Akasia, he was sent to Soshanguve again to find out why the matters had not been attended to.

“I even went to the meters department the previous month at the Tshwane metro offices in Pretorius Street, and was told there is nothing they can do if the Soshanguve office is not attending to queries.”

He said the leaking meters were at 183 Block JJ Soshanguve and 61 Kameeldoring Street in Chantelle.

Masina said: “The Soshanguve leak was first reported about eight months ago, and the Chantelle leak was first reported about five months ago.”

Masina said the last time he reported the leaks was last Tuesday. He said the reference numbers for the complaints were 769665, 757899 and 779299.

This follows after the Tshwane metro had declared war against the waste of water.

Msimanga said the metro had to start saving water and “most of our water was wasted through leaking pipes that went unreported and as such unfixed.”

Msimanga had said the Tshwane metro was the second most wasteful city after Johannesburg when it came to the consumption of water.

He said along with other Rand Water customers, Tshwane had failed miserably to achieve water saving targets imposed by the government in August.

Msimanga announced that a response team had been established to address leaking pipes in the city.

He said the metro had already established a team that will be on the job 24/7.

“This will ensure that all leaking pipes are repaired in time and we avoid further water losses.”

He said dam levels continued to dwindle to unprecedented levels.

The metro’s slow response to complaints about leaking pipes has become a common gripe by Pretoria residents.

Marry-Ann Smith said on social: “All good…how much water is wasted gushing out and running down the streets and is repaired only 24+ hours later. Will any fines be imposed on Tshwane for not attending to this ASAP.”

In October last year the metro said there had been a council resolution that water leakages should be repaired within 48 hours.

This was, however, impossible to achieve as a result of staff shortages, a metro spokesman said at the time.

Rekord newspaper has carried numerous reports in the past year or two about water going to waste because of major leaks.

The metro’s slow response has seen millions of litres of water running down city streets.

The metro had also announced that it would tighten the screws on water usage in Tshwane with immediate effect by means of introducing water-shedding.

Msimanga said residents were not saving water sufficiently according to the restrictions introduced last month.

“It has become patently clear that some of our customers have failed to heed our humble request to use water sparingly,” he said in a statement.

“We now find ourselves in an untenable situation.”

Msimanga said the metro had embarked on what he described as technical interventions to comply with the 15-percent water reduction target.

“I don’t want to scare people or force them into panic mode, but the reality here is that say by December or January if we don’t have any rains and much compliance we will start shedding water.”

Community safety MMC Derrick Kissoonduth warned that offenders would be exposed and fined.

They faced a fine of between R1 500 and R20 000.

Msimanga said ward councillors would be deployed in all areas to ensure compliance.

“We will be encouraging all ward councillors to engage with their communities.

“We have been left with no choice but to implement these measures, failing which we would be facing the prospect of our taps running dry,” Msimanga said.

Also read:

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Reitumetse Mahope

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