East Rand businesses hit hard by water shortages
Naledi Shange, News24
Johannesburg - East Rand residents and businesses which function mostly on water have been severely affected by the ongoing drought, and resultant water shortages.
A hair salon owner from the Germiston CBD, who identified herself as Brenda, said she was losing clients because there was barely any water coming out of her taps.
“Sometimes your customer is burning and there is not enough water in the sink,” she told News24 from her empty salon.
She said she became aware of the water problem when it was too late.
“There was no notification from the councillors,” she said.
As News24 made its way through the streets of Germiston, however, the streets were filled with water - but this, says Brenda, is "sewage".
Brenda had also dug a trench in front of her premises and there was a large puddle of water.
“This is all sewage,” she said, explaining that the municipal workers had started working in the area several days ago.
Taps have run dry
Meanwhile, at an informal settlement a short distance from Brenda’s salon, community members who were making their way from work began to gather with their buckets.
Some arrived at one of the communal taps pushing their empty buckets in a wheelbarrow.
One man, who asked not to be named, said the situation at the Makause informal settlement was very bad.
“There are a few taps inside the squatter camp but all of those have run dry. This is one of about two or three that still have a bit of water pressure,” he explained.
The situation had been like this for days, he said.
“We heard that the tanks were there on the other side where the white people live, over here there have been no tanks that have come by,” he said.
At about 18:00, around 20 community members, some of whom had their young children with them, had joined the growing queue of community members waiting their turn.
The man who spoke to News24 said some people resorted to coming to the tap in the early hours of the morning to ensure that they get water. Those who arrived late found the taps empty.
In Chloorkop near Kempton Park, residents said they had been told that their taps would eventually run dry.
Bukelwa Noma, a teacher at Care Bible Church Day Care Centre, said she was considering investing in a Jojo tank before things got bad.
She explained that with about 70 children in her care, she needed water for the children to wash their hands and flush toilets.