WATERLOO FLATS WATERLESS
By: Pamella Magwaza
A block of RDP flats in Waterloo, Verulam, has been without electricity or water since people were moved into them over a year ago.
The complex of flats was built around 2013 for the less fortunate who were living in shacks near Waterloo. But one of the blocks called KwaNongoma by locals, hasn’t had electricity or private access to water since the people were moved in.
Resident Nobuhle Cabashe, who is still a student, expressed her worry about the situation.
“I am still studying and because we don’t have electricity ere it has made studying very hard for me. Even if I have a test I can’t study properly because sometimes a candle doesn’t give enough light. It’s really hard,” she said.
There is one small pipe outside the flats that gives the residents access to water and every resident has to come to this one small tap for their water needs.
“We don’t even have water inside the flats, we have to come fetch it outside here and at other times the water does not come out and we have no water for over two days at a time,” complained an upset Cabashe.
Many of the residents blame the counsellor for the living conditions and say that they were moved into the flats before they were completed but were promised that electricity and water would be installed in less than a month.
Waterloo Counsellor, Mxolisi Ndzimbomvu, had a different explaination for the situation from the residents.
“The first problem they have to understand is that we are not allowed to put people in places without water and electricity but then we had a problem of invation at those flats. People forcefully moved into them before they could be finish installing water and electricity,” said the counsellor.
He also explained that the municipality told the residents that they did not have the funds to complete the flats at that moment but the people insisted on occupying the flats.
He added that he is surprised that residents are saying nothing is being done because numerous meetings have been called for residents to sign to receive their prepaid electricity box but out of the 57 people called only 15 showed up.
“This goes to show that people are used to getting things for free. They want free water and electricity. There actually is water in the pipes there that they don’t even pay for. They are running away from the problem that they have to start paying for their usage,” said Counsellor Ndzimbomvu.
The municipality is set to come on the 24th– 28th to conduct a program on the importance of having water and electricity at the flats.