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Showers 'a luxury' as more than 100 water pipes burst in Fourways in four months

23 September 2020 - 11:14 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Residents in and around Fourways in Johannesburg have endured hundreds of water outages as old pipes burst.
Residents in and around Fourways in Johannesburg have endured hundreds of water outages as old pipes burst.
Image: Supplied

There have been more than 100 water pipe bursts in the Fourways area of Johannesburg since June, leaving many affected residents fuming.

Ward 115 councillor Chris Santana said the intermittent water supply was largely due to failing asbestos and cement pipes.

“The residents are frustrated because this has become an everyday problem. The area is starting to look a mess because of the many holes. The issue is that the pipes cannot handle the water pressure,” said Santana.

He said the city of Johannesburg had been quick to respond to the frequent bursts but there was no permanent solution yet.

“We have been trying to get a lot of things fixed, like potholes,” he added.

Mark van der Merwe, chairperson of the Fourways constituency for the DA, said an emerging pipe replacement project had been planned for identified streets.

“The infrastructure in-between the highway and Witkoppen, William Nicol is old. The  asbestos and cement pipes need to be replaced with the new blue pipes.

“I keep track of the bursts and work closely with the community and help them report them. We all have a group where we share pictures and short clips of the bursts. We’ve had more than 100 since June 1,” he said. “We’ve had two mishaps but Joburg Water has been absolutely incredible. Residents were very upset in the beginning but there is good communication, so they are sort of understanding.

“We have repaired some roads ... The problem is that Covid-19 is slowing down the response. Another major inconvenience is the reinstatement of pavements,” said Van der Merwe.

Johannesburg Water spokesperson Isaac Dhludhlu said they were aware of the issues and pleaded with residents to be patient.

“We have started the process of generating a work request that should get priority and funding through our planning and capex programme. In the meantime, we will have a standby team dedicated to the area specifically, and will work around the clock to do repairs as the burst pipes occur to limit the duration of the water interruption,” said Dhludhlu.