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Frustrated Soweto residents take to the streets after three days without water

Joburg Water reduced supply as rescue mission for missing Khayalethu Magadla continues

Protea residents in Soweto blocked the busy R558 over water supply. The area has been without water for three days. Johannesburg Water reduced water supply in the area to aid the search for 6-year-old Khayalethu Magadla who fell into a manhole on June 12.
Protea residents in Soweto blocked the busy R558 over water supply. The area has been without water for three days. Johannesburg Water reduced water supply in the area to aid the search for 6-year-old Khayalethu Magadla who fell into a manhole on June 12.
Image: Bafana Nzimande

Angry residents have taken to the streets over lack of water supply which was reduced by Joburg Water as the rescue mission for Khayalethu Magadla continues.

Residents of Protea, Soweto, said they have been without water for the past three days and accuse the City of Johannesburg of failing to provide water tankers closer to their homes.

Khayalethu, 6, fell into an open manhole on June 12 while playing with friends in a park in Dlamini.

An intensive search operation has been conducted in the area since then but there is no trace of the little boy.

Joburg Water said the reduction of water supply is meant to make it possible for emergency crews to gain access to identified water pipes.

“It is estimated that supply from Zondi reservoir will be restored by 24 June [Friday] midnight. The Doornkop West reservoir, Chiawelo reservoir and Protea Glen direct feed will remain isolated until further notice,” read a statement issued by the water utility on Friday.

Protea residents are not satisfied with this update.

They have blocked the busy R558 with rocks and burning tyres. Motorists using the affected route are forced to use alternative routes.

“We understand the pain the Magadla family is going through but we have been without water for three days. The community of Dlamini and other areas have been provided with water tankers but nothing has been provided for us.

"We have toilets inside our houses, just imagine the condition we find ourselves in. This is inhumane,“ said resident Maropeng Serakwana.

Protea ward councillor Phelelani Sindane said he is in constant communication with Joburg Water regarding the supply of water tankers in his ward.

“As a ward councillor, I have done everything within my powers to address this challenge. I fully understand the frustration from the community but I hope we will find a lasting solution soon,” said Sindane.

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