Colleen Glen smallholding community left high and dry

Keith Prentis says he has not had running water on his smallholding in Colleen Glen for nearly three years
TAPS RUN DRY: Keith Prentis says he has not had running water on his smallholding in Colleen Glen for nearly three years

Residents of a smallholding community in Colleen Glen have been struggling without a steady supply of municipal water for several years and are at their wits’ end.

They have tried, at great cost to themselves, to find alternative sources for water but say the situation has now become intolerable.

One resident spent almost R80,000 to source a viable borehole for the small community to use, but the area was too dry and the attempt consequently proved fruitless.

Homeowners have installed tanks and continued to pay their rates and taxes in the hope the issue would be sorted out, but their patience is running out. 

Their predicament stems from a flow reversal in the Seaview-Greenbushes pipeline effected by the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality as part of a drought mitigation strategy.

This reduced the water pressure in the line, which affected the homes connected to the bulk transfer pipeline.

The connection to the area was then moved to the Seaview pump station, but the residents have had almost no water since then. 

They say they have co-operated with the municipality throughout and tried to source water for themselves, but that the situation should have normalised now the drought is over.

“We have all been trying to find ways we can help,” one homeowner said.

“We are paying rates and taxes even though we are getting nothing from the municipality because our sewage goes into a septic tank.”

The man said though municipal officials had visited the affected properties multiple times, nothing had changed.

“Last week, they said a pump was installed but the water is trickling out only one tap and that’s the lowest one in the property.”

Another resident said: “We do not like complaining and everybody would rather find solutions but it’s been effectively three years struggling to get water.

“We have been told that a pump needs to be installed, but I do not know how that can take years to sort out.” 

The municipality says that despite numerous attempts it has been unable to pinpoint the fault in the connection for the smallholdings. 

Though the metro says “it continues to work on the challenge”, the level of its commitment is questionable because the problem has persisted for so long. 

Perhaps it should consider bringing in a specialist contractor to sort out the fault if it is unable to do so.

The residents, after all, have continued to pay their rates and taxes uncomplainingly while receiving no services and deserve better. 



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