Clean water still unheard of in Hammanskraal

There is no end in sight in the struggle to get clean and drinkable water for residents of Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.

An upset stomach has become a daily occurrence for Francina Mojele, 62, who drinks unclean water because she has no other option.

Mojele, of Tambo section, is among thousands of residents who have been living with the water crisis for more than five years.

Mojele, who is on chronic medication, said she could not afford to buy water like her neighbours and was left with no choice but to drink the dirty water that comes out of her tap.

"I have to take my blood pressure medication first thing in the morning. And our water is not clean enough to consume even after it has been boiled. It leaves a dirty stain in the kettle and we always have stomach cramps that lead to a running stomach. I can't afford to buy a 5l bottle of water for R25," she said.

She said sometimes their section would have no water coming out of the taps for a week, forcing her to go search for water in other sections.

Another resident, Virginia Mahlangu, 49, said she buys water from a local spaza shop, for drinking and cooking.

"The water coming from our taps is dirty. I don't remember when was the last time we had good water but I think it was five years ago. We use tap water only for washing, cleaning and bathing," Mahlangu said.

Elias Kekana said he had not had water for three weeks until Saturday when two water trucks arrived in his area.

"In this region, there are 13 cases of Covid-19 and people are expected to constantly wash their hands but [we] don't have water. Even the water from the trucks was not clean.

"We ask Tshwane municipality to supply us with two tanks per street," he said.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Omogolo Taunyane said she was not aware of Hammanskraal water situation as it has not been raised in their meetings. She promised that the matter will be investigated.

"Concerns raised by the residents are noted and taken with seriousness they deserve. Because the provision of water tanks is National department of water and sanitation, I would advise you direct your query to them. However this is something we will look into as part of our responsibility to ensure that water provision in Hammanskraal is of good quality," she said.

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