De Korte Court left without water

Residents with comorbidities of De Korte Court in Lavender Hill had a tough time trying to manage daily chores without water for more than a week due to a “technical issue”.

Celeste Grobbelaar said she lives with her pensioner parents in a flat and they had no water from Tuesday June 30 until Saturday July 11.

Ms Grobbelaar said at first she thought the water was off due to their water bill being in arrears, however, her father Cornelius managed to pay the bill on July 1.

“You can imagine how anxious and frustrated I got. Despite the bill being in arrears it was always paid on time by my dad but because he got sick a month ago he neglected a payment and got it sorted out at Plumstead municipality.”

While communicating with two ward councillors, Ms Grobbelaar said she was worried about her parents who have comorbidities, which makes them vulnerable to Covid-19. “Water is a necessity not a luxury and it shouldn’t be treated as such. We also have to keep in mind it’s a pandemic, she said.

“It was difficult as we needed to manage the water. The washing was piling up. We couldn’t flush. We had to use the bathwater in the toilet. We got water from my sister but we didn’t want to be a nuisance as their water bill was going up.”

She said her mother Jacqueline was stressed as it was more than a week with no feedback (from the City).

Ms Grobbelaar said she knew of her neighbour whose water was also disconnected but she was still not sure of the reason why.

Ms Grobbelaar spoke to Southern Mail while waiting for a response from the City of Cape Town after councillor Shanen Rossouw gave her a reference number for reporting it.

Ms Grobbelaar said she had also spoken to ward councillor Marita Petersen who told her the water problem may have been due to a pipe burst.

When Southern Mail asked Ms Petersen, she confirmed this.

“There was a pipe burst prior to the water pressure problems. De Korte was not the only court affected by the water pressure.

“I was not aware that her water was cut off as I received a number of calls of people that experienced water pressure or perceived disconnection problems throughout the area as it was reported. With the housing offices being closed and with skeleton staff at our depots, it did pose a problem in getting responses as swiftly as we would have liked,” she said.

Ms Grobbelaar told Southern Mail that a City worker came to fix the problem on Saturday July 11.

“I was at work, and my mother said it had nothing to do with the water bill.

“Some people (neighbours) complained and he (the worker) said he couldn’t fix theirs; they needed to query and log the complaint first.”

When Southern Mail asked the City for comment, deputy mayor Ian Neilson, who is the mayoral committee member for finance, confirmed: “The City is currently not restricting water supply to a trickle-flow due to non-payment of municipal debt.

“The City’s water and sanitation department is looking to see if there are other technical issues that are affecting the supply.”