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26 Free State towns without water

Twenty-six Free State towns are experiencing serious water shortages, mainly attributed to collapsing infrastructure.

Residents of Winburg, which falls under Masilonyana Municipality, north of Bloemfontein, have been without water since Friday last week. Residents are forced to walk long distances to get water from boreholes. Last year the Human Rights Commission (HRC) found the municipality guilty of violating the community’s access to adequate drinking water.

“There are children in schools and they spend the whole day there. We know that in a week they will suffer from water shortages. There are a lot of problems between our municipality and the community,” one of the community members says.

“We have to give the children two litre bottles of water to take to school. They can’t even use that to flush the toilets. They can only use it to drink,” another resident adds.

Businesses are also feeling the pinch. Store Manager Jan Swanepoel says that it is difficult operate without running water. “We need water in the bakery, butchery and in the deli to make food. So how can we survive without water?”

Masilonyana municipal spokesperson, Zongezile Ntswabule attributes some of the problems to flooding in some plants.

According to the municipality, the pump station is about 40-years-old and is beyond maintenance. The municipality indicates that without a budget allocation the future remains uncertain.

Source: SABC News

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