South Africa, Durban – While speaking to the Daily News, Shallcross Civic and Ratepayers Association (SCARA) chairperson Poobalan Govender called for a long-term solution to the water infrastructure for the area.
“We are in a very grave situation. The infrastructure here is quite aged. The municipality has told us that they don’t have funds, but funds need to be redirected since ratepayers pay their fair share.
The municipality is squandering money. There should be resources available to fix the ageing infrastructure because the pipes in Shallcross have not been replaced in almost 35 years.”
With water being restored in the area, some parts of Shallcross still are without water following pipe bursts. On Tuesday, residents reported a burst pipe at the Shallcross cemetery, and these were followed by three further pipes in Zoutpansberg Walk, Sapphire Drive, and Granada Street.
“Pipe bursts were an expected side-effect after a week without water. When water is released, it will force pressure and the old pipes will bursts because there are leaks due to its age,” said Govender.
“What will happen now is that a water crisis will be a regular occurrence. What you will see is more burst springing up while the municipality tries to address them to no avail because the water department is not up to the task and resources are not utilised properly. Skilled personnel has been dismissed, and in their place, unskilled people are employed in the department due to cronyism.”
“This leaves us, the people, to bear the brunt of that and only quick fixes are being conducted instead of addressing the plans in the long term with a detailed plan. So we want a clear plan of action from the municipality before we have another crisis on our hands.”
eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the City was attending to burst pipes as quickly as possible.
“As per the City’s mandate to ensure service delivery to its residents, all burst pipes that are reported will be attended to. We thank residents for bringing these matters to the City’s attention as soon as they occur. As with all water interruptions that are reported to the City, water tankers will be dispatched to bring water to all those affected, if this is deemed necessary.”
Mayisela added that there are other factors that may lead to pipe bursts.
“Water pipes can burst for a number of reasons, and not only due to ageing infrastructure. Reasons may include continuous rainfall that may cause the soil to be loose thereby making pipes move. We also have cases where temperature, corrosion, and high-water pressure in the pipes can cause bursts, encroachment by tree roots, and soil erosion can cause pipes to lose positions. Please note that the City has pipe replacement projects that are undertaken on a priority and budget availability basis.”