Water Crisis Hits Extention 77 in Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality


By Mpho Modiba

BA-PHALABORWA – Residents of Extention 77, particularly those along Paul Kruger Street, have been grappling with a severe water crisis allegedly caused by the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality’s water department.

The trouble began when a fire hydrant started leaking, leading to significant flooding in the area.

The ordeal for Marry Grobler began on Thursday when Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality initiated repairs on a pipe at Geldeland Street in Phalaborwa.

Grobler reported that her yard was inundated with water from Thursday until Saturday due to the leaking fire hydrant outside her house. Despite the urgency of the situation, municipal workers ceased their repairs at 16:00 on Friday, leaving the hydrant to continue leaking overnight.

This situation prompted DA Councillor DeBeer to intervene by contacting Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality’s Municipal Manager, Dr. Kgoshi Pilusa. Dr. Pilusa subsequently reached out to the Mopani District Municipality’s water department for assistance.

Although the Mopani District workers arrived and began repairs on Saturday, their efforts extended late into the night, ending around 22:00.

Complications arose when the Mopani District Municipality workers were not adequately briefed on the necessary tools required for the repairs.

In a bid to control the flooding, Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality’s Technical Manager, Gift Hlongwane, suggested turning off a reservoir. Unfortunately, the wrong reservoir was initially switched off, exacerbating the flooding as water gushed from the fire hydrant like a river. The correct reservoir was eventually shut off to mitigate the damage.

Tensions flared when employees from Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality’s water department allegedly tried to intimidate the Mopani District Municipality workers, asserting that the repair work was their responsibility.

Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality spokesperson John Mahesu acknowledged the issue, stating that they were aware of the problem. He relayed that Technical Manager Gift Hlongwane confirmed that steps were being taken to address and resolve the crisis.

Residents of Extention 77 remain hopeful that the municipalities will work together efficiently to prevent further incidents and restore normalcy to their water supply.

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