Loadshedding & cable theft affect Durban water provision_1

eThekwini municipality’s efforts to provide water for the Durban area were being “severely plagued” by loadshedding and cable theft, it said on Thursday…

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, via an emailed statement, urged residents to partner with the city to prevent cable theft.

“For the city to pump water to reservoirs, it relies on power, and in the event of any power outage, it becomes an uphill battle to provide water normally.

“This is as a result of water being depleted from the reservoirs after the malfunctioning of pumps. Building capacity to reservoirs takes numerous hours. This means during this process not a single drop drips from taps, which causes frustration to residents.”

Loadshedding had compounded the problem, said Kaunda.

He called on residents to “work with the city in these turbulent times”.

“We are a caring city and under no circumstances shall we deliberately deprive our communities of water. We are facing a situation that is abnormal and beyond our control and requires that we work together to triumph over it. Our cables are stolen frequently and this is of major concern.”

Kaunda said some community members were “fully aware” of the criminal behaviour and chose not to report it. If the crimes were not reported, residents ran a risk of living permanently without running water, he added.

He welcomed the arrest of two men alleged to be part of a syndicate that was stealing the city’s power cables.

“I would like to commend our law enforcement agencies who upon receiving a tip off, moved with speed and intercepted a truck laden with our cables worth over R2 million. I am calling upon institutions responsible for dispensing justice to make an example with these men. It is the responsibility of all of us to protect municipal infrastructure because the improvement of our well-being hinges upon it. Thieves must always be isolated” said Kaunda.

Tankers had been mobilised to supply those areas experiencing water outages, he said.