RESIDENTS of Chris Hani squatter camp in Hammanskraal, north of Tshwane, dream of drinking water from their own taps!

Instead, they stand in long queues leading to an old well ekasi every day.

Young and elderly people carry cans, plastic drums and buckets to get water.

Although water is delivered in water tankers, some residents don’t get any.

There’s even a notice outside the Moretele Magistrates Court warning of service delays due to a lack of water.

The water crisis follows a complaint laid by a resident to the Human Rights Commission in March last year.

The resident claimed the water supplied to them had a strange colour, smelt bad and was contaminated as a result of pollution coming from water treatment plants.

The commission conducted an inspection in July last year and found water pollution had affected the drinking water system at the Temba plant, which sits downstream of the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works.

It recommended that residents be supplied with water while the city fixed the problem at the plants.

Resident Beauty Chauke (38) said the water tankers prioritised schools and “rich sections.” She said the water was always finished by the time the tankers reached them.

“We can’t afford to buy water from those with boreholes, so we have no choice but to drink water from a well, which is also used by animals.”

The commission’s acting manager, Kelly-Ann Cleophas, said they had sent a letter to the City of Tshwane.

She said they found the city continuously violated human rights.

“Water can’t be interrupted for two days,” she said.

“They don’t provide enough water. We want a plan of action and have given the city until today to respond.”

Tshwane’s MMC for utility services, Abel Tau, said the water treatment plants were shut down after the one in Pyramid was struck by lightning two weeks ago.

“We did this to avoid contamination, but now operations have resumed in the plants,” said Tau

Tau denied they received a letter from the commission but said they were aware of the water shortages and were dealing with the matter.