Taps run dry - again

Residents in some areas north of Durban are without water - again - following a burst on Thursday on the Northern Aqueduct pipeline at point D-Newlands.

Members of the Verulam Water Crisis Committee, and areas including La Mercy, Tongaat and Phoenix, recently protested outside the Durban City Hall over water issues.

Published Apr 5, 2024


Residents in some areas north of Durban are without water - again - following a burst on Thursday on the Northern Aqueduct pipeline at point D-Newlands.

While the repairs to the pipe have been completed, reservoirs remain closed.

“All bursts have been successfully completed and all scours are now closed. The line is being opened and charged currently and we still have the outlets of most, if not all reservoirs, closed currently. If we open, most will be empty and others will run down to low levels in a short space of time due to peak demand,” said DA councillor Nicole Bollman on a post on Facebook. One of the affected areas that she oversees is uMhlanga.

Following her post, Megan Dacomb asked: "When is the water supposed to come back in Mount Edgecombe and Umhlanga village?"

Other areas include Phoenix.

Samier Singh, a DA councillor in Phoenix, said: “We currently have no water. The repairs to the pipe was only completed at around 4am this morning. We were told earlier that officials were monitoring the water levels to see if it was advisable to open. I have not received further feedback."

Bradley Singh, a DA member of the KZN Legislature, said all reservoirs had no water as the line was not charged.

"It takes 36 hours to fill, so I expect water to only be restored by Sunday. There was recently a repair to air valves on the aqueduct pipeline. After this, our situation seems to have gotten worse. The city needs to be held accountable and fix issues immediately."

Alice Govender, the Chairperson of the Phoenix Civic and Ratepayers Association, said: "The residents of the north/northwest areas are unable to cope with the water shortages. Our people are numb from the water crises and endless insincere promises that are made, none of which have materialised."

Yogis Govender, the DA chief whip and member of eThekwini EXCO, said Tongaat was not affected by the burst on the northern aqueduct pipeline.

"However, we still have water outages every single week... While the Tongaat Waterworks was rehabilitated, the infrastructure leading from the works to various reservoirs is old and unmaintained, resulting in major bursts every few days. Tanker deployment is dismal and residents have reached their wits end.

“Parts of Verulam are worse off. They were affected by the two bursts on the northern aqueduct and the supply versus demand issues that have been ever-prevalent from the Durban Heights system for years. Some areas are 318 days without tap water."

Roshan Lil-Ruthan, from the Verulam Water Crisis Committee, said: “We are still without water. Even before this burst, we have not had water for three days. It’s like we have become accustomed to it and are making arrangements to collect water for our daily use. We have been experiencing water issues for over 316 days. We did receive an alert that we may receive water by 6am tomorrow morning.”

The eThekwini Municipality did not respond at the time of publication.