Residents march against WASCO

Residents march against WASCO

BEREA – ABOUT 400 angry residents from Mapoteng, a small farming town east of Teya-teyaneng, marched to the Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO)’s offices last Friday complaining of poor service delivery. The coordinator of the protest, Motlalepula Khumalo, said they are not happy after WASCO billed them for services it never supplied.
Khumalo said there was no tap water in Mapoteng for over a month yet WASCO kept billing them. He said they wanted WASCO to cancel their debts from November to December, ranging from M70 to M1 000 per household.

“We are still wondering as to what the money was for. We know nothing about it,” Khumalo said.
He added: “We want to start on a clean slate in January without any unclear debts.”

Khumalo said they did not have an agreement with WASCO to pay even when the company has not provided any services.
“But it (WASCO) keeps on asking us to pay for air saying their meters count air.”
He said for villagers who own cars had to drive to ’Makhoroana to fetch water, while some had to drink from unprotected wells during the water crisis. He said others were buying 25 litre-buckets of water for M2.

Khumalo said even under those circumstances, WASCO never explained why there was no water in Mapoteng.
“We still need that explanation.” He said attempts to meet officials from WASCO to get an explanation failed several times after the meetings were postponed.
“Unfortunately, they did not show up on the set date,” he added.

“We become stranded once there is no water supply considering climate change,” he said.
“We want (WASCO) to allow us to dig boreholes so as to survive during times like these.”
Khumalo said they also demanded that WASCO allows them to pay for services in advance.
“We want the office to use meters that will allow us to use cards or numbers that will allow us to use prepaid water. We do not want the current one and we expect this to happen before the end of March,” he added.

He said they are worried about WASCO’s reluctance to maintain damaged water pipes.
“Sometimes the company takes about a month or two repairing pipes and a lot of water is wasted during that time,” he said.
He said they have established a committee that will act as a middle-man between the two parties.

“We expect an improvement and we will watch (things) until March and if by then none arose, we will work hard for (WASCO) to change the current manager in Mapoteng,” he said.
He said they will stick together to see to it that their demands are met.
He said the community was angry when they did not get answers from WASCO on January 10.

“I learnt that things would have got out of hand had the police not been around, considering their rage.”
He said WASCO has not been cooperative at all. “It should communicate with us. We hate surprises,” he said.
Mahlomola Senamolele, who is the WASCO acting Director of Operations, said they will meet with all role-players today so as to respond to their demands.
“We will be working on formulating a response and we will give it to them not later than Tuesday next week,” he said.

Mapule Motsopa

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