Phiri residents in Soweto may have to wait for more than two years to have access to unrestricted water supply.
The Johannesburg high court yesterday granted the City of Johannesburg leave to appeal its ruling on installation of pre-paid water system in the township.
Judge Moroa Tsoka said: "There are reasonable prospects that another court may come to a different conclusion on the matter."
On April 30, the high court made a ruling against the city's decision to limit the free basic water supply to 25 litres a person per day, or six kilolitres per household.
Tsoka said that the installation of a pre-paid system was done without consultation with residents, hence he ruled it was unconstitutional and unlawful.
He also ruled that free water should be increased to 50 kilolitres per household.
Residents have spent more than five years fighting against the pre-paid water system and the restrictions on free basic water supply.
The residents' lawyer, Advocate Wim Trengove, said: "We are confident that the ruling won't change."
He said granting leave of appeal would delay the implementation of the main judgment.
He said it could take more than two years for the matter to be considered in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Dale Mackinley of Coalition Against Water Privatisation said Phiri residents would face the same hardships that they have endured for more than four years.
"Justice delayed is justice denied," he said.