Mangaung metro to fix Botshabelo water crisis

The challenge of water cut-offs still persists in Botshabelo and the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) has attributed this problem to a water system that is being installed in some sections of this town as well as broken water pipes.

The town has experienced regular water cuts on weekends and at times the water crisis lasts a week. Some residents have resorted to a spring that is about 10 km outside Section K to get water, while others have turned to the industrial site.

“I have four children that I need to make sure are well fed, clean and go school. If I have to live without water for over four weeks, this would be catastrophic. The health of my children is at risk.

“I am also a single mother who needs to work for her family. I work at a local factory; I work abnormal hours. My children are aged from five to 15. They are old enough to fetch water but the eldest is a girl and it is not safe for her to walk long distances to fetch water because of long queues which force people to return late,” said Ntswaki Molehe.

The MMM said this week that it had warned local residents about the impending water cuts.

According to the MMM, the problem is caused by bursts of ageing asbestos pipes and dilapidated water main valves during excavation for the installation of new ones.

This is despite the contractor having been given water supply plans as references during excavation.

However, some of the pipes were not in line with the drawings provided by the municipality.

“The water and sanitation section is in the process of installing pressure reducing valves in which section J, K and F are currently under commission. The replacement of old valves is in progress,” explained MMM spokesperson, Qondile Khedama.

These pipes that cause unplanned water cut-offs are dilapidated and were installed as far back as 1979.

Khedama told The Weekly that he met with the community on May 14, 2013 to inform them about the developments.

“However, we experienced a major asbestos cement pipe burst where a special fitting was ordered after a drawing was made. This took four days of manufacturing and left the community without water supply.

It should be noted that the manufacturing of asbestos cement pipes and fittings discontinued hence the use of special fittings.”