Joburg unravelling: No water, power, fire engines, infrastructure maintenance

Matthew Cook – GOOD Johannesburg

08 June 2021

Tens of thousands of Johannesburg residents have been left in the dark and without water for over a week. Every day, more neighborhoods are affected.

Last week residents in Eldorado Park, Westbury, Westdene, Sophiatown, Fairland, Northcliff, Hursthill, Crosby, Coronationville, Montclare, Brixton, Lehae, Lenasia and Soweto were hit with a triple whammy of freezing winter weather, load shedding and no water.

The blame games between the City’s leaders, Eskom and City power have fixed nothing.

Hospitals were left without water and private organisations like Gift of the Givers had to step in to provide water to the most vulnerable.

The promises from Mayor Makhubo and his MMCs are just more hot air.

Necessary repairs to the Hursthill Reservoir, for example, were not mentioned in the mayor’s recent budget speech.

The situation Johannesburg is in reflects decades of poor leadership, dishonest funding allocations, skewed priorities, lack of accountability and a total absence of vision.

The ruling ANC City government, and its DA/EFF predecessors are equally complicit.

Johannesburg needs a deliverable plan to stabilise, upgrade and expand critical infrastructure to support local communities and economies.

As Makhubo clings to power in the wake of corruption allegations, he continues dilly-dallying with the livelihoods of the city’s residents.

He must act with urgency, and commit to his promises to keep the lights on and the water flowing.

In October, citizens have the opportunity to effect sustainable change when they go to the polls in local government elections.