City moves to quell rumours over unsafe Durban water

06 May 2019 - 16:22 By Yasantha Naidoo
Ethekwini municipality moved to quell rumours that the city's water was unsafe following ongoing strikes that have crippled services including waste removal and provision of water
Ethekwini municipality moved to quell rumours that the city's water was unsafe following ongoing strikes that have crippled services including waste removal and provision of water
Image: Orrin Singh

"The city's water is safe to drink and we are working on restoring waste and water services to eThekwini residents and businesses."

That's the message from the city following a week of disruptions to waste and water services after disgruntled workers embarked on a crippling strike last Tuesday which is still ongoing.

The municipality's employees took to the streets in protest over salary increases allegedly granted to uMkhonto weSizwe veterans employed in the department. Eleven protesters were arrested and charged with public violence. 

In a statement, city manager Sipho Nzuza said the metro apologised to residents and the business community who bore the brunt of the illegal strike that resulted in disruptions to basic services in certain areas.

He said private contractors had been sourced to move swiftly to assist in restoring the provision of basic services in the event of disruption.

"We have already started with refuse removal in the city centre. Two private contractors and 100 volunteers have been brought on board to ensure all refuse in and around the city centre is cleared within 24 hours.

"We are also prioritising refuse that is life-threatening. We have also hired contractors to assist us in our endeavour to provide water 24/7," said Nzuza.

He assured residents that the city's water was safe after social media posts claimed that the water had been sabotaged and was unsafe.

"Residents are assured that tap water is very safe to drink and are requested to disregard hoax messages that are circulating on social media to the contrary."

He asked residents not to leave their refuse outside their homes until the strike was officially over. 

Nzuza said residents who were able to dispose of their refuse could do so at landfill sites in Mariannhill, Ilovu and Buffelsdraai. 


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