First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Eleven days without water — load shedding in Eastern...

Maverick Citizen


Eleven days without water — load shedding in Eastern Cape wrecks Middelburg borehole pumps

The community of Midros in Middelburg, Eastern Cape, was without water for 11 days after borehole pumps burnt out during load shedding. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase).

The people of Midros in Middelburg in the Eastern Cape have been without water for 11 days after crucial borehole pumps burnt out during load shedding on 25 June. It has taken the municipality until now to have some of the pumps fixed.

After close to two weeks of water outages caused by a load shedding-related burnout of borehole pumps, the Midros community in Middelburg began getting water out of their taps on Wednesday — 11 days after a bout of nationwide power cuts.

The water services authority for the area is the Chris Hani Municipality — an entity that received a rating of 35.6% for its handling of the region’s drinking water in the Blue Drop Report published earlier this year. 

The MEC for Cooperative Governance, Xolile Nqatha, told the provincial legislature earlier this year that only 50% of demand in the town can be met by the boreholes. Coupled with load shedding, this led to a catastrophic water failure that lasted almost two weeks.

Bulelwa Ganyaza, from the Chris Hani District Municipality, confirmed that “constant electricity outages” in the area had caused four water pumps to burn out. 

This left four boreholes in the area — Matjieskloof (two boreholes), Midros and Grootfontein — high and dry.

“The Chris Hani District Municipality dispatched a contractor on site and a full assessment was conducted to establish the extent of the damage on the four pumps. Water carting was provided to the area as temporary relief and this is still ongoing.”

Ganyaza said the two Matjieskloof pumps had been repaired.

“A contractor is still busy on site working on the third borehole in Midros.” Ganyaza said they were still waiting for equipment to fix the borehole at Grootfontein.

The ward councillor for Midros, Richard Jacobus, has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. 

“Midros has been without water since Saturday, 25 June… The area only has one green water tank,” he said in his complaint.

Jacobus said there were a few thousand people living in the Midros area.

He said that when he called to find out why there wasn’t any water, he was told that the pumps had burnt out after load shedding. He said he was told on 26 June that a contractor had been appointed to repair the damage.

“The Chris Hani District Municipality’s call centre phone just rings,” he said, adding that his urgent pleas on the local service delivery WhatsApp group had been ignored.

“For seven days (at the time of the letter to the Human Rights Commission), the community of Midros did not have water to wash clothes, clean themselves or use toilets. This is a serious human rights violation,” Jacobus said. 

“If the Chris Hani District Municipality does not have the capacity or skills to service Middelburg’s water and sanitation needs, they must give this function back to our local municipality,” he said.

Residents with electrical expertise had offered to fix the pumps – but the offers were turned down, Jacobus said. 

“People had to use wheelbarrows to go fill up their bottles with water at the green tanks,” he said. “This is an absolute nightmare… There are many old people living in this area.”

It is understood that the Midros borehole pump was fixed on Wednesday and that supply will be restored. However, the area was due to be load shed from 4pm to 8pm. DM/MC


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted