No water, no electricity: stroke survivor Sizwe Memela has had enough

KwaNobuhle still without water in spite of promises by mayor

By Thamsanqa Mbovane

8 November 2022

Sizwe Memela has to pay someone to flush his toilet with a bucket. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

Stroke survivor Sizwe Memela has to pay someone R5 to flush his toilet in KwaNobuhle, Kariega, because there is no running water and he can’t lift up a bucket.

The four-roomed house, where he lives with two young children, has had no water for almost two weeks now.

He said, “The toilet is stinking. My laundry is dirty. I can’t even take a bath and be fresh these days.”

He said every time he needed water for his house, he had to pay someone R20 to fetch water for him in a truck. And now, he says, there is loadshedding to contend with.

“I can’t even make coffee, listen to the radio or watch TV. This is too much ,” he said.

A “major burst” on the Summit-Chelsea pipeline left much of KwaNobuhle without water last week but the municipality promised to fix it quickly. On Sunday Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Retief Odendaal published a statement saying that water had been switched on and the system “should be at full pressure again”.

“However, it will take approximately two days for reservoir levels to stabilise again. Consumers in lower areas of KwaNobuhle should start noticing water supply being restored from this afternoon (Sunday) onwards. We thank residents for their continued patience!” said Odendaal.

But on Tuesday afternoon there was still no running water in parts of the township. Residents vented their frustration on Facebook.

At 2:30pm families rushed to a water truck on the corner of Tyulu and Siwani Streets. Some quenched their thirst immediately, filling and drinking from plastic bottles beside the road.

Echoing the mayor’s promise on Sunday, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipal spokesperson Mamela Ndamase said water supply would be stabilised in a day or two.