Water problem ‘ignored’

Residents are afraid that children will get sick from playing in water caused by burst pipes.

Dunoon residents have accused the City of what they say is clear discrimination against them and their community.

They say water has been flowing for almost a month from burst water pipes at the cul-de-sac in Cosmos Street, and it’s just one of many problems being ignored by local authorities.

One resident, who did not want to be named as he feared the City might victimise him, said he had been logging complaints with the City weekly for the past month but despite getting promises that a team would be sent out in 24 hours, nothing had been done.

“Since the beginning of November, I have noticed that water leakage. This is clean water that’s leaking here so it’s very weird that the council just ignores this issue. There are children playing with the water from the source of the leakage, and we are afraid that they will get sick.”

Residents tried to keep the children away from the water, but they always managed to get to it, he said.

“One thing that I am always told whenever I log a new request is that I should delete the previous reference number I received from them,” he said.

The resident added: “I think they ask me to do this so that I have no proof that I have been trying to get this thing sorted for over a month.

Residents in the area say it’s a shocking waste of water in a city still recovering from a crippling drought that raised the spectre of Day Zero.

Jabu Msinga, of Dumani Road, which is near Cosmos Street, said he had noticed low pressure in his water supply for the past month.

“I checked with a few neighbours and they were all experiencing the same thing. Now I think we know where the issue is coming from. The municipality needs to sort this out.”

Ward 104 councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said he was “dissatisfied” with the City officials and his sub-council.

“The treatment we receive in poor areas is very different from what people in places like Table View and Blaauwberg get. We are always the last in line for service delivery, and even when we get that service, it’s mediocre at best. I have had complaints from many people in Dunoon, and I always escalate them to relevant City officials. But nothing seems to get done here.”

Nophelo Dayimani said Usasaza Street, where she lives, had potholes every 20 metres or so and residents had given up on the City fixing anything.

“We live in very bad conditions here, and it just gets worse when it rains. Why does this City not care about us? What makes us different to the people who live in the suburbs? We shouldn’t be treated like this by the people who have promised us a better life.”

Mr Makeleni said Dunoon faced sewer problems; leaks; illegal dumping; potholes, which he said should be called ditches because of their size, and inadequate street lighting.

“Last month, I went on a walkabout with sub-council to show the issues Dunoon faces, and, to this day, I see no difference. I suspect that there is a group of people at the City of Cape Town that doesn’t care about poor areas like ours. The mayor is also useless, and it shows that he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” said Mr Makeleni.

Tabletalk emailed questions to the City last Friday, but the media office only responded on Tuesday, saying they had had “problems with emails” but would now attend to the questions.