Residents shut down Hambanathi in protest over water supply

Hambanathi residents in KwaZulu-Natal are fast approaching the third month without water and the municipality does not seem to have answers.

On Wednesday morning, the angry residents took to the streets and closed off the area with burning tyres, declaring it a no-go zone. This after eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda held a meeting with the community in Tongaat, which also faces the shortage of water, and promised to attend to their grievances.

The residents of Hambanathi fault the municipality for not prioritising their needs even when they have been provided with water supply trucks as a short-term solution.

Taking to social media to speak out about the situation in Hambanathi, The Wife actor and presenter Linda Majola said the residents are deprived of a basic human right.

“What’s happening in Hambanathi is a true reflection of what many areas have been going through in eThekwini. No water for days, weeks and months. Access to safe water is a fundamental human need,” wrote Majola.

In a media briefing on Wednesday, Umgeni Water chairperson of the board Ziphozethu Mathenjwa said the residents of eThekwini are facing water rotations as a result of Umgeni repairing the Durban Heights water treatment works.

“We sit on a daily basis with eThekwini [municipality officials] and look at [various] options of dealing with the issues that the residents are faced with in those areas,” said Mathenjwa.

“We are busy behind the scenes and our inability to communicate a solution is based on the fact that we have not found a viable solution to help the communities. eThekwini is working in speed and we are committed to helping them come up with a solution.”

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