let in the dark

No water, no power and no service

Major power outages and water shortages are plaguing Rustenburg.  All over town power goes out at unpredictable times and some parts of town are currently on their tenth day without running water.  To make matters worse no written notice has been given to the public.  Naturally this raises many questions.  Angry residents of Rustenburg are starting to question where all the taxes and service fees that they paid are going to?

Angry residents of Cashan x4 would like to know why nothing is being communicated.  Everyone else in the Rustenburg area is also asking the same question.  A lack of communication is one of the greatest frustrations.  “It is completely understandable that problems do arise and crises happen but why keep the public in the dark.  We would be less annoyed if proper communication was established and notices were put out” one of the residents said. “I have called numerous numbers of the municipality, multiple times. Each time I hear a different story and no solution can be given”.  Henning Vosloo stated “I called the helpline only to wait half an hour and then to have the phone put down in my ear”.  One of the residents even went so far as to contact the Municipal Manager several times, but nothing came to pass.  She was told that if she has a complaint she should give it through to the complaints department.  “Why do they not give us more information?  Another question is why it will take so long to repair a problem?  What happens to all the money we pay via taxes and water and electricity fees?”

Not just is running water a problem but also the water tanker trucks that was dispatched to provide water for the public.  “The truck simply drives by houses and gives a light ‘toot’, then moves on to the next street not giving people any time to get to the truck.  You have to fetch your container, unlock doors and open gates to get to the tanker, by the time you get there they already left”.  One of the residents of Cashan 4 reported that a water tanker has not visited their neighbourhood from Monday the 18th of February.  The first time the tanker visited their neighbourhood was 11 AM on Sunday the 24th of February.  That means a entire week without any water supply.

Water and electricity is not the only thing residents are complaining about.  Overflowing sewage drains are also becoming a big problem.  “We cannot let our children play outside, it is simply unhygienic.  The smell is revolting.  This has been going on for quite some time now”.  Complaints like these have been piling up from many residents.  One resident even took us to a man hole without a lid on it.  “This is dangerous, what if a child falls in to it?  Not just is it dangerous but simply unsanitary and unacceptable”.  It would seem that the infrastructure is not up to standard.  Rustenburg is a rapidly expanding city.  But with the expansion, preparations also need to be made.

These crises have an even broader effect on people than just this.  “We have to pay more now than ever before to buy bottled water and petrol for generators.  If you are lucky enough to have a generator.  And with all prices going up so drastically our budgets simply do not make it”.  “It is difficult for people with children, especially like me who has a 9 month old baby.  How can I take proper care for a child without water?”  “My concern is for the elderly and people with small children.  Hygiene is a big problem” Johan Stander stated.

“A lack of educated professionals makes for a big concern.  We had electricians from the municipality at our house a while back that could not locate or fix a problem”.  “They have been working on our water supply since the end of December.  Why does it take so long to fix a problem?” Zanita Cawood said.

Most of the residents we spoke to wanted to stay anonymous and we would like to respect this request.  All information found in this article is based on feedback from interviewing quite a few residents of Rustenburg.  There are hundreds of complaints to verify what has been said.

We all in Rustenburg do appreciate everything that the municipality is doing and what they are trying to accomplish.  But there are some concerns whether there might be enough people to handle the task.  What about the communication to the public?  Will we see change in the near future?  Only time will tell.

Problems

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