By Thamsanqa Mbovane
Residents of KwaNobuhle township in Uitenhage were relieved on Thursday to see that the leak which had seen thousands of litres of clean water gushing away had finally been fixed.
"The water had been leaking from the pipe since January," said resident Lungelwa Mbengashe.
On Wednesday, GroundUp published a story drawing attention to the water wastage, the complaints of residents, and asking questions of the local councillors. The underground pipe at Siwasa Street was fixed hours later.
"I had independently reported it five times to the municipality's toll-free number ... And they kept telling me help was on its way," said Mbengashe.
Resident Nontembiso Maphela said, "I am happy ... as my yard is no longer a river ... Cows and birds used to be enticed by the fresh water and would knock the gate with their horns ... My yard was like a farm."
She said a municipal official phoned her after GroundUp published the story. "I then saw a team of plumbers arriving in a truck and they went straight next door to have it fixed."
Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said, "Previously we had no records of a complaint of this nature registered until this week. We have discovered that the leak was on the owner's pipe, but due to a subsidy for Assistance To The Poor & Rebates (ATTP) registered to the property, we were able to assist with the repairs ... We are equally happy to have stakeholders such as GroundUp who often keep their eyes on the ground."