Businesses livid over eThekwini water woes


One of the affected hotel, The Burnham House B&B

from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – TOURISM establishments in the uMhlanga area have decried the water cuts as having an adverse impact on their operations.

Several areas have not been without water for days.

Jeannie Sarno, owner of Burnham House bed and breakfast, denounced the timing of the problems, considering the sector was recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are still in the recovery process and many cannot afford to be given complimentary nights due to water cuts,” the proprietor said.

“Paying customers don’t want to hear about these problems. They want solutions. As business owners we could get away with it for a few hours but definitely not for four days.”

Sarno said the lack of water was scuttling marketing strategies the establishment had worked on, thus the water cuts were unacceptable.

“The tourism sector constantly has to face challenges that result in lost revenue,” she said.

Sarno told CAJ News Africa that larger hotels – perhaps have means to finance water supply but the smaller businesses could only support themselves with water tanks, but this is a temporary solution, not enough for when the issue persists over days.

“We understand that the municipal team are inspecting the whole line and trying to find the main cause of the low pressure at certain parts of the main northern aqueduct pipelines since September 18,” she said.

Ward 35 councillor, Nicole Bollman, is concerned about the water issues.

She has written to the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality seeking answers.

“Access to water is not a privilege. It is an inalienable human right, one that your department has repeatedly and shamefully failed to uphold. Our residents, businesses, hotels, and hospitals have suffered enough, and your department’s inaction is indefensible,” Bollman wrote.

Mxolisi Kaunda, the eThekwini mayor, said the water cuts were due to the low pressure at certain parts of the main northern aqueduct pipeline.

“Municipal technical teams have been working tirelessly for the past few days to identify the source of the problem and to ensure speedy repairs,” he said.

Kaunda said water tankers would be sent to affected communities.

“The Municipality apologises for the inconvenience caused to customers,” the mayor pleaded.

– CAJ News







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