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Friday, April 13, 2007

I did not wash this morning

Yes I did not wash this morning - not that it's anything to publish to the world. But it's ok, instead of anyone in the office noticing any unwash-odour, they notice more my fuming face and the aura that is the anger in me. Now what would the so hygienic Izz not wash his beloved temple?

My wife left me because we have no water in the house

Last night I come home and put small laundry in the bath for washing (my wife has left me) and turn on the tap, which only let out enough water to wet the base of the bath. I was shocked – for the first time in my life, I don't have water. I grow up in a village where poverty is the order of the day, but we all had water in abundance each day from our boreholes. So to be in an urban area in such modern times and not have water - regardless of the problem, was shocking for a village boy.Buy this, my ‘service’ is king.

Much so because the complex is in an estate where 'service' is king – I’m told. The body corporate/managers, estate agents and developers sell this estates and complexes on the idea of ‘service’ and ‘security’ and family-ease. This morning and last night, I worried about water, let alone security of any sort. And as a matter of fact, security in 'security estates' is nothing but one big illusion by sales-addicted estate agents and profit-worshipping developers.

Pervasive problem and the 10 chauffeurs

So I went to bed without water hoping that in the morning the 'service' would work through the night to fix the problem. On waking, I hit the dry shower – not even a drop fell from the nozzle. I didn't bother to think much about the immediate solutions as I had learnt, from my travel buddies (about 10 private chauffeurs) that on uncountable occasions they had no water and were surprised at my boasting that I don't share their problem at all and I can't relate. But now, I know what they were going through. And to my fellow-earthmen without water all the time up in Africa, I feel you!Coolerbags and justified vulgar tongues.

Now as half-dirty me leaves my house – soiled dishes filling up the zinc – I find a queue at the gate with people in buckets and coolerbags hassling for water from a Kungwini Municipality-branded white tanker. It was people from nearly any complex within the estate. They were all fuming, angry, vulgar in their tongues and helplessness.

Even small-scale human problems affect white and black alike

One lady says in Afrikaans: “this problem is pervasive and consistent. In my complex we have no water at least 2-3 times a week since way back." She added that her friend is leaving the estate as she had to spend an extra R1000 a month on water and laundry from elsewhere. There were more disheartening comments and stories from the dry crowd at the gate – some even late for work. Regarding the racist lady I previously wrote about, well, human needs have no white and black. Only humans.

PR-machines behind this

On speaking to the tanker driver, he informs me that the problem is a burst pipe due to some massive construction of even more complexes. Surely, the client told him to be PR this if any questions get asked. I know for a fact that it is not a burst pipe as nearly all my ‘chauffeurs’ have been experiencing this problem for much longer than a burst pipe would be left unattended. This dates back beyond my first week – in December 2006 – when I arrived in the estate. So as a former journo – Sunday Times municipal reporter – I figured the problem is deeper and more operational than that, and can vouch that the solution is not in sight until the construction is ceased and the capacity/supply paired with the demand.

Profit-kissing developers

My experience as council/municipal reporter tells me that these guys, the profit-kissing developers and their estate managers did not plan too well for this estate and other estate and complexes they are building or have built. They, my experience from investigations tells me, apply for a massive development without pinning it to the tee with the municipalities – so things start from out-of-sync. They don’t give the municipality the real future picture of their ever-growing constructions and the estimated head/population count. Had they done that, the municipality – Kungwini – would have, I assume, raised a concern about lack of capacity to supply an estate that has more than 10 complexes and still plans to build more – at the moment, the whole place is under massive construction with more and more complexes being cramped in. This is without consideration of the property investments of the families that already live there.

Kungwini, a small town local municipality is nothing close to the capacity behemoth that is Tshwane metropole or Joburg metrople.

Solution unlikely: then the out-in exodus

The impact is far reaching and the solution unlikely. The water problem will continue and in fact, get worse than it is now. I hear many people have left and more plan to leave. I pity those who listen to estate agents who lure them in day after day to filling the vacancies. Everyone buys into the idea blindfolded by the illusion of security, lush long-stretches of lawns, pools, cricket fields, dedicated patrol quad bikes, clubhouses, putt greens and more. And if they would do a bit of homework of why the vacancy – and not ask an estate agent – they would rather live elsewhere and manage their own security and water supply.

Developers law unto themselves

I’ve got a lot of beef regarding this. Mostly because during my work at the Sunday Times, I did investigations and wrote a few articles on the developer flouting by-laws of the municipalities, bulldozing wetlands and wiping out irreplaceable streams –basically, destroying nature knowingly but being assured that the municipalities will eventually not block the development as it is expensive for the government to keep chasing what they dub the mundane compared to problem of the country being under siege from criminals amidst the presidential race, which takes all the politicians brains to one place – that race.

For the record, I wrote numerous stories at the Sunday Times on the developers following my own investigations - and some other info is not fit for this blog, as I don't have libel lawyers payroll.

PS: Our marriage council has granted my wife special maternity leave from our marriage - to return on 13 May.

I took two pictures of this water chaos, and will post them on Monday and will come back to blog about the delusion of the security complexes and estates.

My photos here: ____ www.flickr.com/photos/izzyone
"Judge of a man by his questions, rather than by his answers." - Voltaire


Jaybabe said...

Ah-ah!...Izzy..she just cant leave you because there's no water.What have you done?

Eish..but again if the pipe has burst somewhere,you guys are gonna go for a coupla days without water.In that case the council has to go around distributing water tanks to households.It's gonna be bad mann!

How would you leave your life if you woke up one day and you find yourself in the middle of a desert? with the two girls by your side huh?..what would you do?

Izz said...

Lucky enough for me, I didn't cancel my gym membership here at work, so I was able to duck in for 30min, push some iron, then go enjoy a shower!

Izz said...

jay, I would ask them to meditate with me on life in the village of plenty water, then during our hypnosis, we would imagine us drinking and bathing in the sea of water.

chidi said...

are you joking about your wife leaving you? how can she have left you becuse there is no water???

Izz said...

Hey Chidi. You read the story half babe. If you go to the end of it, the climax (PS:) says that she is gone due to maternity leave as we have a baby girl. I guess I gotta say: GOTCHAAAAAAA!!!!