Residents lose cash after false promise for free water tanks

Community members says they buy water every day instead of saving money to buy food and other essentials.
Community members says they buy water every day instead of saving money to buy food and other essentials.
Image: iStock

Disgruntled residents of an informal settlement in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, may have been duped into building water tank stands with the promise that the department of water and sanitation would provide them with the tanks.

A man who identified himself as an official from the department told residents last month that the department required them to build the stands.

Residents went ahead but the "official" has since vanished and there was no delivery of the water tanks.

"I took my last money to contribute in the fund for the building of the water tank stands in the community but till today, we have no water tanks," said resident Freddy Mosese.

He added: "We, as the community, built 40 stands and even today residents are still waiting for those water tanks.

"We are suffering because we buy water every day instead of saving money to buy food and other essentials."

Spokesperson for the department of human settlements, water and sanitation Sputnik Ratau said the department never sent any officials to tell people to build water tank stands.

He said the department has an operational centre to communicate with communities and that he did not know the man who promised the tanks.

When contacted for comment, the man in the centre of water tanks claim said Sowetan should arrange a meeting with him and the people complaining about him.

Another resident, Maleme Motsepe, said every time he thinks of buying water his heart becomes sore as he needs the money to buy food for his family.

Community members buy water from R7 a litre.

"All I want is for government to keep their promise and give us the water tanks.

"Now it's more urgent because there is a deadly disease and we have to wash our hands all the time. But how will we do it without water," said Motsepe.

City of Tshwane human settlements division head Sello Chipu said the City has been providing water to residents in Pienaarspoort Ext 20, 21 and surrounding areas, using 70 tanks of 5,000l capacity.

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