Water outage at time of man’s death

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KOMANI police have confirmed the death of a foreign national during a fire in a rented house in Ezibeleni recently, adding an inquest had been opened.

The Rep reported (“Man dies in blaze failing to find keys of Ezibeleni house,” August 26) that the man had not been able to find keys for the room in which he was sleeping when the fire started. The first people on the scene said there was no water in the taps, which could have helped extinguish the fire.

Police spokesman captain Namhla Mdleleni said the man rented a room in the house while someone else rented another. “The two had separate connections from the substation. We can not confirm if the connection is legal or not.”

Chris Hani District Municipality communications manager Thobeka Mqamelo said the district authority was saddened by the loss of life and property – a situation they did not wish any family to experience.

“However, the water outages during the scheduled times are not a matter of choice but essential to preserve the remaining water resources in the light of the lingering drought.”

Mqamelo said if water outages had not been implemented last year, no water would be available in the area now. She said water pumped from Waterdown Dam amounted to about 240litres per second while the demand was a minimum of 330litres per second. All reservoirs were at below 10% and water supply was cut between 8pm and 4am.

“This is done to ensure maximum pumping at night to enhance reservoir levels and make water available throughout the day. Areas like Magxaki and KwaThemba are closer to the hills and they experience worse water supply interruptions as they are the first to run out of water when the reservoirs run dry,” she said.

Mqamelo said electricity outages also had a negative effect on the pumping of water as electricity was used for this.

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