09/01/2018 08:33 SAST | Updated 09/01/2018 08:36 SAST

Residents Plead With Emfuleni To Restore Water Supply

Emfuleni's water has been cut because it owes Rand Water R450-million.

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Vereeniging residents have pleaded with the Emfuleni municipality to restore water supply to the area amid a heatwave in Gauteng, according to Eyewitness News (EWN).

Water cuts were introduced at the municipality to areas including Palm Springs, Evaton and Lakeside because the municipality owes Rand Water money.

Residents have reportedly been queuing in the blistering sun for hours waiting for one of five water trucks to arrive in the area. Taps have been dry for about a week.

According to TimesLive, the municipality has a historical debt with Rand Water of R450-million. It missed the cut off date -- last Friday -- to settle 25% of the money owed.

Emfuleni mayoral spokesperson Lebo Mofokeng said that residents not paying their bills and high levels of unemployment were to blame.

"We are at a lower level where people are not disclosing their status. There are affording communities and affording government employees that can afford to pay the municipality but they are not doing so and it impacts on the poorest of the poor. Being ignorant about revenue collection or payment of services is not assisting the municipality or South Africa... we need to prioritise our basic services‚" he reportedly said.

Residents told EWN that there was no water to clean or flush toilets.

"[There are a] lot of flies inside the house because the toilet is inside the house and there is no water.

"Some of the children are having diarrhoea now because of those flies," one woman reportedly said.

Municipal officials were locked in meetings with Rand Water this week in an attempt to avert more water cuts.

While the municipality blamed nonpaying residents, many residents said they had paid their bills and that the crisis was not their fault.

Gauteng premier David Makhura reportedly visited the area on Tuesday and vowed that the water would be restored.