Fourways man takes bath in sinkhole caused by pipe burst

08 June 2020 - 15:46 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
A Fourways resident took to the streets on Sunday to raise awareness about the failing water system in his neighbourhood.
A Fourways resident took to the streets on Sunday to raise awareness about the failing water system in his neighbourhood.
Image: Supplied

A Fourways, Gauteng, resident took a bath in a huge sinkhole in the middle of the street at the weekend.

The man, who asked to be referred to only as Nicholas*, said he wanted to humorously expose the extent of the problem of a dilapidated pipe system in his neighbourhood. So he took the plunge on Sunday, with tea kettle and shampoo in hand.

“On Monday last week there was a huge water burst on the shoulder of my property leading to a river of precious water wasted, flowing through the garden and flooding the next houses down,” he told TimesLIVE.

“City of a Joburg arrived two days later after losing tonnes of litres of water. [The crew] worked through the night, fixed it — only to realise that the pressure on the water system is too high, causing at least three pipe bursts further down the system, including the one in the road with the sinkhole,” he said.

“It was a stressful week for Fourways residents battling limited-to-no water supply, [along with the] uncertainty of kids going back to school and terribly managed and executed school start,” he said.

He said the water pipes are old and not well maintained. After intermittent water supply for seven days, he decided to make a stand.

“What a beautiful morning enjoying my tea in the morning sun, being able to wash after enduring a week of no water and no open gyms to shower at like in the past. This beats any gym backup shower, basking in the morning sun and watching the joggers and cyclists at the same time,” he quipped.

Nicholas added, “The photos were taken by my amused neighbour. They were shocked to see me in the water.”

Despite the water being so cold his toes felt frozen, he said the idea was to make light of a very serious situation in the hope of shining a spotlight onto the failing water system in the suburb.

“On top of this, Fourways keeps building more and more complexes, adding onto an already old and failing water system. Where are we heading?” he asked.

Chris Santana, ward 106 councillor, said they were not sure when the water would be fully restored.

“For the past seven days, there’s been a burst in the area. I have reached out to the City of Joburg to get a sense of when we can get the water up and running. People here haven’t had water in a week. The water keeps bursting and taking the process backwards,” Santana said.

Johannesburg city officials have been contacted for comment.

*His identity is known to TimesLIVE