Northdene water pump failure leaves Chatsworth high and dry

This photograph was shared along with the statement from the city about the ongoing water outages. PHOTO: Submitted.

The eThekwini municipality said 20 water tankers would gradually be added, which will bring the number to 54 to ensure that all residents affected have got access to clean water unceasingly.

With parts of the densely populated Chatsworth community affected by the water shortage for more than five days, people are desperately appealing for help on social media.

Some residents in the greater Queensburgh area have offered to help their Chatsworth neighbours by setting up hosepipes at their homes to allow people to fill containers at the gates to their properties.

Comedian Karou Charou (real name Mahdevan Moodley), in partnership with the National Indian Congress of South Africa (NICSA), has been helping communities that were left without water.

Team NICSA ready to service at the Ramakrishna Ashram 917. Come and collect. Delivery to sick, pensioners, Covid.. Etc whatsapp 073 767 5836

Posted by Karou Charou on Tuesday, 12 January 2021

According to eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela, faulty pumps are to blame for the water disruptions in the south of Durban, reports Highway Mail.

Mayisela said all three pumps in the Northdene pump station had failed, resulting in no water being pumped to reservoirs downstream.

ALSO READ: Water shortages in SA are due to lack of foresight, not virus

The affected reservoirs include Chatsworth 4, Shallcross, Harinagar, Klaarwater, Birch Road, St Wendolin’s Pumps and Washington Heights.


Shallcross ward councillor Previn Vedan said there were reports that people were attacking water tankers which arrived to supply residents with water.

He said residents arrived at the sites where tankers were distributing water and refused to let them leave.

Vedan also claimed that one tanker’s tyres were slashed at the Chatsworth Stadium.

Part of the problem identified by Vedan was that residents shared the location of tankers on social media and this led to some residents from other areas crowding the tankers and preventing the them from servicing all the areas where water was needed.

“Due to the panic caused by multiple messages circulating, residents fill multiple buckets of waters and this results in the tankers constantly leaving the community to be refilled and the return time results in delays.”

Chairperson for Human Settlements and Infrastructure, Thanduxolo Sabelo, on Tuesday visited the Northdene Reservoir pump station to inspect work being done to replace the broken pump.

He said water had been restored in three areas.

“There are areas within the west and south of Durban that are without water because of the failure of some of our pump stations. We are as a municipality working around the clock to try and sort out the situation. We have employed our best engineers from the municipality to come and work on the situation.

We have also sources the services of a contractor to come and help us sort out the situation. There are other areas which were fed by this pump station which are now receiving water,” he said.

Meanwhile, the eThekwini municipality said 20 water tankers would gradually be added, which will bring the number to 54 to ensure that all residents affected have got access to clean water unceasingly.

“The city urges residents who are preventing trucks to be considerate and refrain from doing so as this unlawful conduct has a negative impact to other residents,” said the municipality.

It said it was looking into putting static water tankers to all areas affected to ensure that residents have access to water as and when they need it.

“The metro understands the frustration of the public and apologises to all residents affected and thank them for understanding.”

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