Nyanga families battle two-day water outage

City of Cape Town workers are on site to fix burst pipe

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There has been no water in Nyanga, Cape Town since early on Monday morning. On Tuesday, families walked to communal taps in neighbouring Philippi East with containers to collect water. Photos: Sandiso Phaliso

  • Households in Nyanga and parts of Philippi have been without water since midnight on Monday.
  • Residents have been lining up with buckets and containers at communal taps in nearby communities
  • The City of Cape Town has sent a team to repair a pipe burst in the early hours of Monday morning. But on Tuesday afternoon, the street was still flooded with knee-deep water.

Thousands of Nyanga residents have been lining up with buckets and containers at communal taps in nearby communities after water in the area was cut off on Monday morning. Parts of Philippi have also been affected.

GroundUp visited Browns Farm, Mau Mau, New Crossroads and Better Life on Monday and Tuesday.

People said they had been struggling to cook, do laundry, and wash. They have had to walk kilometres with their containers to collect water from communal taps at Siyanyanzela informal settlement in Philippi East.

According to residents, there was a pipe burst in the early hours of Monday morning. By Tuesday afternoon, most of 1st Avenue was still flooded with knee-deep water. When GroundUp visited, children were frolicking in the flooded road to cool off on Tuesday afternoon.

Resident Phiwolomzi Lantu said he had walked about five kilometres to Siyanyazela to collect water for his family. “People could not flush toilets. Today (Tuesday), in this heat, we had to wait in long queues for water. The communal taps have low pressure. It takes 30 minutes to fill a 20-litre bucket,” he said.

Another resident, Arthur Radebe, said the underground water pipes were decades old and needed to be replaced. “Nothing is being done about this water burst and it is not the first time. The solution is to replace the old pipes,” he said.

By Tuesday afternoon, the City of Cape Town’s water trucks had arrived to distribute water in the affected areas but many residents were not at home.

Ward 34 councillor in Philippi, Melikhaya Gadeni (ANC), said the City’s workers were on site to fix the burst pipe.

“We are looking at an alternative so that people can have water while the burst pipe is being fixed,” said Gadeni.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation Zahid Badroodien said teams were attending to the problem.

He said affected areas included Philippi, Brown’s Farm, Schaapkraal, Siqalo, Weltevreden Road and the SAPS College in Heinz Park.

The City later also pointed out to GroundUp that the first notification of a burst pipe was received at 17:30 on Monday and the repairs were completed by 16:30 on Tuesday. Two water tankers were placed at the Library in Bristol Road Brown’s Farm and another two on the corner of First Road and Abonwabisi Road, Nyanga until repairs were completed.

The City of Cape Town sent out a water tanker on Tuesday afternoon, but residents say not everyone was home at the time to collect water from it.

Update on 2024-01-18 10:27

Additional comment by the City, on when notice of the problem was received and when it was fixed, were added to the article after publication.

TOPICS:  Sanitation Water

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