Army base residents in Komani are upset after their water supply was cut by Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) on Thursday.
This after CHDM had warned that government departments and businesses which owed the municipality money for water and sanitation services, would be cut off.
The former military base, which is now a residential area for SAPS and correctional services employees and apparently there were no water meters. It falls under the national department of public works.
There are apparently no water meters at the base.
A resident, who wanted to remain anonymous resident who cannot be named for fear of losing her job, said the residents were confused about why their water was cut.
”There are monthly deductions by SAPS from our salaries for water and sanitation services.
”So far, the only thing we have been told is that the SAPS did not pay public works and public works says SAPS did not pay the department.
”We are not sure who to blame. This is really unacceptable.”
The water cuts have also affected the police K9 unit and finance department offices, along with the Queenstown Military Medical Clinic.
The army base has been struggling with water leaks over the past years due to old infrastructure, an issue which some of the residents believe may have contributed to its spiking water bill.
On Wednesday, The Rep paid the area a visit and saw a large pool of water which has apparently been there for years.
Ronel Plaatjies said it had been like that for five years, due to a leaking pipe.
”On the day the water was cut, residents went to the get water at the house near the puddle, as water was coming from there,” Plaatjies said.
In the meantime, residents were depending on a CHDM water truck for water.
According to residents, the municipal truck with two tanks came on Saturday.
”The truck also came on Sunday and Monday, but it did not come yesterday (Tuesday). I do not have water and my children have to go to school. I am waiting for the truck and I am not sure if it will come as all my buckets are empty.
”We have no water to cook and there is no water to wash. ”No-one called us to a meeting so we do not know what is happening,” Plaatjies said.
Chris Hani Spokesperson Bulelwa Ganyaza said the municipality was in constant engagements with its debtors which were affected by water cuts.
This including public works, which owes R2m for the area.
She said the department was to engage with the municipality on Thursday about settling the account.
Ganyaza added that water leaks at customers’ premises increased their consumption and water bill.
”The district municipality owns the water meter and the supply from the street to the water meter.
If the pipe leakage is before the meter, this will not have any bearing on the customer’s bill.
“In the event the leak is between the meter and the house [within the customer’s property] then this will definitely affect the customer as the bill will increase.
”Customers are responsible for any water losses/leaks within their premises, particularly those beyond the water meter,” she said.
Ganyaza added that water leaks outside the customer’s boundary were not included in their accounts, as the municipality was responsible for those.