Ricochet News

Metro laying criminal charges after parts of Bay left without water

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 10, 2017
Metro laying criminal charges after parts of Bay left without water

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Tuesday said it will be laying criminal charges after what it called sabotage left residents in Wards 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25 and 26 without water over the weekend.

Addressing journalists, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, said that the water supply disruptions were nothing, but a deliberate act from the Bay's opposition parties, who wanted to score political points by making the DA to look like it does not care about black communities.

Trollip said that the Metro's engineers, who attended to the water disruptions on Saturday, discovered that a number of valves had been turned off.

“It became clear on Saturday during the afternoon that there was a systematic outage of water and on Saturday evening, we discovered that a number of valves of water in the Bay had been turned off,” he described.

The Mayor explained that he doesn’t have the key or the special manual that describes how to turn the valves on or off and neither does he have the specialised equipment needed to do the job.

“By Saturday evening, we were aware that there was a sabotage, which was happening with the industrial action.

“On Sunday morning, it became clear that there was a political sabotage meddling because one of the councillors even phones the department saying that do not send water tankers to this community because it’s too dangerous.

"And our records prove that there was no danger of some sort as water was sent to other communities, because thirsty communities do not attack water tankers when they want water,” he added.

Trollip, thus, told the media that the matter will be reported to the police.

“What is of concern is that after this very meeting, we will go to the police station to lay a charge of sabotage and intimidation," he said.

“The tanker drivers were prepared to drive, but they suddenly withdrew from driving the water tankers into the communities.”

The Mayor said that when workers came back to work on Monday, the water was instantly running, which indeed points to sabotage.

“The workers were supposed to be back at work at 7:30 on Monday morning to deal with the impasse without water. They chose to have a meeting at the Depo first for about three and a half hours, and only arrived at their places of work at around 10 o'clock," he added.

“Within a very short space of time after their arrival, the waters started to run again without any evidence or any major repairs to any major bursts of pipes. That is a clear indication that what they did was to simply turn the water on when they got to their work stations.

“It is a constitutional offence to simply shut off water and those people, who did that, must accept responsibility."

Trollip said that municipal workers, whose responsibility is to keep the taps on and the lights on, can find jobs somewhere else if they are not prepared to do their jobs.

Also addressing the media, Councillor Lovemore highlighted that tank drivers showed a sign of being unsafe when they were to deliver water to communities.