22 days without water pushes Tongaat residents to plan mass action
Residents in Tongaat, north of Durban, are planning to take to the streets on Thursday in protest against not having a water supply for more than 20 days.
Infrastructure was extensively damaged during the recent floods, resulting in several suburbs and townships being left without running water.
While the supply has been restored to some areas in Tongaat, many others continue to face dry taps and have relied on the goodwill of private companies and humanitarian organisations to provide water.
As part of their mass action, residents plan to present a memorandum to eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda detailing their concerns.
They are asking that the municipality provide the task team and civic organisations with the city's strategy to restore water in Tongaat.
Residents also want Kaunda to “discuss the lack of co-ordination in deployment of water resources”.
According to the memorandum, which has been posted on the Tongaat and All Facebook group, they also want to know what interventions are in place to “mitigate the pain and suffering of the community”.
“At present the city is failing by not being able to deliver on the basic need of water provision.
“Had it not been for the civil society response, many vulnerable and indigent people would have perished.
“It's been 22 days without water and we have not seen or heard any assurances from the city that the plight of the people of Tongaat is being addressed with any sense of urgency.
“Our community has a rich struggle history. We fought against apartheid and helped to defeat it. If it means we must rise against the incompetence and heartlessness of the city, then we are ready to do so,” the memorandum states.
Meanwhile, Gift of the Givers has started the process of drilling boreholes in parts of the north coast town as an alternative water source.
“It is intended to find centrally located spots that are favourable for drilling within protected areas where geology permits,” said the organisation.
“In addition to supplying water while the repairs of destroyed water infrastructure take some time, these new boreholes are also intended to enhance long-term water supply in these communities.”
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