The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Free State has endorsed the continuation of the shutdown by angry residents over the chronic water crisis in Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality in Qwaqwa.
Majority of the workers have called for the continuation of the shutdown which started last Monday and suspended on Wednesday after a government delegation met with the leadership of the community.
The union leaders held a meeting with workers to discuss the water crisis issues in the area.
Another shutdown in Qwaqwa, Kestell and Harrismith is on the cards as community members and workers have called for the action to continue.
The workers who gathered in Qwaqwa on Sunday afternoon have all agreed and pushed for further action.
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workers say they have been living under an abnormal situation and now they want an immediate water supply to their homes.
“The absence of water makes everything abnormal, as a result the shutdown should continue until government makes it a point that we have running clean water in our taps,” says one of the workers.
Business people continue to be adversely affected. “Water is a problem, I’m working at the shop and now it’s closed, there’s no water,” says businessman Asefi Gonso.
Cosatu Provincial Secretary Monyatso Mahlatsi says the current water problem in Qwaqwa is man-made. Mahlatsi says the workers have a right to be unhappy about the prevailing situation.
“They are (unhappy), they have a reason to be, we understand and we are also not happy because it’s unacceptable that people can stay for such a long time without water, by a problem that is man-made because the problem of water here is not problem that is natural, a problem whereby there’s no rain or there’s no water. The problem is man-made because if the issue of infrastructure that is not being maintained and developed that’s why people don’t have water.”
Even though last week’s shutdown action has left many people in despair others are advocating for it to continue.
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