Joburg residents frustrated, thirsty and in the dark

Rand Water is appealing for patience while waiting for reservoirs to fill up two days after it finished its 54 hours maintenance project.

Rand Water chief executive Sipho Mosai at a briefing on 17 November 2021. Picture @Rand_Water/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Joburg residents are frustrated and angry after having to battle simultaneous water and power outages.

Rand Water is appealing for patience while waiting for reservoirs to fill up two days after it finished its 54 hours maintenance project.

At the same time, many residents still can't flush their toilets, take a shower or wash their dishes. Adding to the service delivery headache, they also have to navigate through load shedding rosters.

From restaurants, small business owners to people working from home, residents have been left furious and confused with no clear indication of when water will return to their taps again.

Rand Water is urging those at higher altitudes to be patient as the reservoirs are still filling up two days after the maintenance project concluded.

But this is not helping business owners.

A massage therapist from Westdene said in the absence of water, she wasn't able to meet with clients this week, and she had taken a huge financial knock.

"I have not had water to wash towels, I've been unable to flush toilets, unable to keep my home as a sanitary environment for business."

A restaurant owner said he understood maintenance was crucial for a city with a growing population, but he expected Rand Water to stick to its own restoration promises.

"It's been terrible, we've just finished renovations, a massive launch on hand and to be doing this all without water."

In Melville, residents are also complaining about a lack of water. A taxpayer said she was fed up at having to deal with interrupted services while she paid her utility bills on time.

"In Melville, we've been hit by many power outages of late, which are also random not just load shedding."

Joburg residents said if only they were warned to plan beyond the 54 hours of maintenance work this week - they might have been able to mitigate some impact.