TENANTS LIVING WITHOUT WATER FOR TWO YEARS
By: Pamela Sibiya
Cottage tenants at Inanda have been without water for more than two years following an unpaid bill of R20 000.
According to the tenants, the bill had climbed so high because their landlord who had been very efficient when it came to paying the bills had died the previous year.
They said his son, Siphamandla Mthethwa, had since taken over the cottage and that as the landlord it had been his responsibility to ensure that all the bills were settled.
Sibongile Qwabe, a tenant, said that the issue of the outstanding bill had not been brought to their attention until the municipality had come to disconnect the meter.
“None of us knew the amount owed but we had suspected that he hadn’t been paying although we were paying our rent,” Qwabe said.
She said the municipality first came to disconnect the pipe from the meter.
However, the tenants illegally re-connected it, which Qwabe alleges may be the reason why it was completely cut off.
Another tenant, Nombuso Zama, said she had contacted Mthethwa after the pipe was cut-off and he had promised them that he will sort the matter out.
However, she said as the time passed and they noticed that nothing was happening they decided to liaise with the municipality themselves.
Zama said that at the municipality offices, they were told to provide the death certificate of the late landlord and his title deed which Mthethwa has not provided.
Although Mthethwa said that he was also aware of the matter, he added that it had been difficult for him to deal with it accordingly because he does not stay in Durban.
He explained that sometimes when he does get a chance to come to Durban he forgets to bring the two documents with him.
“It was never my intention to let them stay without water for such a long time. I also want the matter to be settled but it’s just not happening,” added Mthethwa.
When contacted, the eThekwini Municipality water and sanitation unit said that they could not disclose such matters to the media, however they are willing to assist the victims.