On Tuesday the streets of Soshanguve and surrounding areas were on fire as residents demanded an end to the ongoing “drought”. Last week, the City of Tshwane implemented stage 2 water restrictions, saying high-lying areas were at risk of draining reserves amid load shedding. Residents of blocks K, L, G and H in Soshanguve said the water from the tankers was not healthy enough for consumption and their children fell ill.
The City called on residents and businesses to limit their consumption. While residents said there were simply not enough tankers to provide sufficient water for every family, to the extent that they had to choose between cooking, bathing or flushing their toilets. MMC for utility services and regional operations, Daryl Johnston, said at the time they were instructed by Rand Water to increase water flow control due to high usage and pumping challenges caused by load shedding.
The residents burnt tyres and blocked roads including as Ruth First Road and the M39, which starts at the end of the Mabopane Highway (R80). Tshwane University of Technology students and university buses were allowed to pass through. Campus security closed gates as a precautionary measure. During yesterday’s protest, residents had a run-in with police, who fired rubber bullets at the crowd.
These area has been grappling with little to no water for over a week. The executive Mayor of Tshwane Randall Williams said they were able to hold an urgent, constructive meeting with Rand Water and welcomed the constructive commitment from Rand Water to ensure our teams work together to better manage water supply.