Bridgetown resident’s water blues ends

The Water Management Device at Mary Anne Van Rooyens house.

After seven days of no access to her water supply because of a burst pipe, Mary Anne van Rooyen can once again enjoy fresh, clean water.

On Wednesday November 16, Ms Van Rooyen, better known as Aunty Tollie, noticed that there was no water in her taps. She went outside to have a look at the water management device (WMD) and saw that the pipe had burst and the water was gushing out of it.

The next day she went to the Kewtown rent office and logged her complaint. A service request, notification number 1011735428, was then created for a water leakage and disconnection. The following day the water was still gushing out of the pipe so Ms Van Rooyen’s son called the City of Cape Town. An official from the City came out to her house that afternoon, twisted the pipe and placed a brick on top of it to stop the water from gushing out.

Ms Van Rooyen was then left with no water supply unless she removed the brick and untwisted the pipe in a bucket to fill it with water.

She said it was the first time in 30 years that she had been without water.

Four months ago the City of Cape Town installed the water management device at Ms Van Rooyen’s house in Bridgetown. The functioning of the WMDs installed at residents’ houses is regulated by a central control team in the City’s administration with the help of a computer set-up. The device has been set to deliver an average of 350 litres a day or 10.62kl a month (which includes the free 6kl).

On Monday November 21, Ms Van Rooyen still had no water supply so her son phoned the City once more and someone told him that they would be sending an official out, but no one came.

“It was very difficult to be without water, it is a horrible thing to go through. I had to borrow water from my neighbours. You can’t wash, clean your house, do washing, or cook food. Why did they take so long to come out and fix it but they were so hasty to install it (WMD)? When they installed it I told them I didn’t want it, but they said that it was compulsory,” Ms Van Rooyen said.

“No matter what my bill comes to, I pay R100 or R200 every month.

“I live alone in this house and I’ve had a good credit record with the City. All of this has given me so much stress because lots of water has been wasted,” she said.

Benedicta van Minnen, the City’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, said on Wednesday November 23 the matter was investigated by a maintenance official who contacted the water and sanitation department to repair the connection to the water meter.

“The team was able to stop the leak, but further action was required. A follow-up by officials regarding the metering device was scheduled for Thursday November 24. It must be noted that the City has a record of Ms Van Rooyen’s call to the Athlone housing office on November 16 to enquire about the installation of an electricity dispenser unit, when she was referred to the relevant department,” said Ms Van Minnen.

On Wednesday November 30, Ms Van Rooyen was very happy when the City finally sent out officials to repair the leak. She said her water supply has now been regulated.

“I’m glad and very happy that the water is on,” she said.