Residents of Hambanati in O Tongati, north of Durban, say a child has drowned, people have been injured and others have contracted water-borne diseases due to water problems in the township.

They barricaded the road to the village and set water storage tanks on fire to protest the lack of water after the April flood.

The video below is of the new protest:

After the town’s main water treatment plant was washed away, eThekwini Municipality sent water tankers to the township. However, residents talk about inadequate service.

One of them, Sikhumbuzo Mthembu, says his daughter and granddaughter have been hospitalized
with water diseases.

“There is a child who has already died. Fell into the bucket, died. There are houses that suffered because they ran for water.”

“It’s not bad at all now. This means that our government is completely failed. Because these Jojo tanks are spaced, they don’t fill up with water. That’s why people get angry, burn these Jojos, because they don’t need them.”

The municipality says the R31 million water station construction project, which started in mid-July, will take four months to complete.

A representative of the oThongathi Civic Association, Charles Chetty, says they are disappointed.

“As you can see, these Jojo tanks were burned for one simple reason, they were just left there, unattended, not maintained. We very rarely see water at Jojo’s. So the community says enough is enough. Today we are asking the national government, we are asking the minister… if he does not come and deal with the problems of the people of Tongaat, we will not come home. We will stay outside,” Chetty adds.

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