The community is left devastated by the water issue and is in disarray – unsure of what the future holds.




The Mondeor Recreation Centre precinct in Daylesford Road consists of a play park, the recreation centre, a preschool and the Mondeor Meteors Football Club, and these facilities have been without water for seven months.

The water supply to these facilities has never been reconnected after it was disconnected in August 2023.

Action for Accountability (A4A), a project co-funded by the European Union and implemented by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Accountability Lab South Africa and the Public Service Accountability Monitor, aims to support communities through better governance as South Africa struggles with an accountability crisis.

A4A has taken on the project of helping restore water to the facilities.

The A4A project is active in three communities in Johannesburg including Lenasia, Finetown, Mondeor (Ward 54) and in the Eastern Cape in Makhanda.

According to A4A representatives, the property where these facilities are situated belongs to the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) and its water supply comes from Johannesburg Water.

The impact on the facilities and community

The disconnection of the water supply has left Mondeor residents in distress and has many detrimental effects.

Dawood Raphalalane indicates the blocked emergency exit.

The recreation centre is a central part of the community and is used for community meetings, church services, funerals, graduations and weddings but because not having water the community cannot use the facility.

Additionally, the centre is used by government departments such as SASSA for outreach programmes. It is also used by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to register voters and as a voting station.

However, with voting day fast approaching – the facility cannot be used, which will cause an inconvenience to many residents who plan to vote.

The second facility, Carnation Pre-School, is a non-profit community pre-school that provides children with early childhood development services. The preschoolers’ rights to reach their full potential in terms of cognitive, emotional, social and physical development have been safeguarded by these services.

Carnation Pre-School teacher Francina Ntlebi highlighted, “The preschool was previously called Mondeor Community School but was renamed in January. We have been operational since February and have faced this water issue since last year.

“This crisis has put a huge dent in the pockets of the preschool and our own pockets because of expenses on alternative ways of getting water. It is hard without water. We need water, it is our basic human right and no official has come forward to speak about the issue.”

The restricted water supply has caused many challenges for the preschool staff and learners and risks closing its doors. If the preschool closes down, it will be depriving young children – who come from as far as Soweto – of an opportunity to get an affordable education.

The third facility, the Mondeor Meteors Football Club, has been providing its community with great sports since 1960. It not only provides recreational activities to the youth but is also an outlet where they can stay fit and away from harmful influences from society.

Vice-chairperson Nhlanhla Mafolo and chairperson Xavier de Sousa.

The chairperson of the football club and coach, Xavier de Sousa, said: “This crisis has negatively impacted the club and players. The youngsters cannot use the ablution facilities, which pose a huge health risk. Parents who usually wait for their children during training are now unable to use the bathroom and as a result, are becoming frustrated.

“In addition, the children train and require water to stay hydrated. They are advised to bring water from home, which usually cannot sustain them throughout an entire session.

“We are a club with well over 250 players but due to the current issue many parents are reconsidering going to other clubs.”

Vice-chairperson and coach Nhlanhla Mafolo added, “The club has a legacy and is rich in history. We are here to serve the youth and build a better youth. It has been a home for many players, providing them with a place to develop. It is devastating that we find ourselves in this situation.”

In the case of Mondeor Meteors FC, they are puzzled as to why the water was disconnected. The football club has its own water meter and according to its records, is up to date with its water account.

The caregiver of the football club has also been impacted. He lives on the Mondeor Meteor Football Club property with his wife and child.

The caregiver who asked to remain anonymous said, “My family and I are disheartened by the issue. We have now resorted to asking the neighbours for water to cook and shower. We hope the water will be restored so we can return to living a normal life.”

Temporary solutions

The preschool has opted for a temporary solution to the issue.

Carnation Pre-School teacher, Francina Ntlebi holds a placard.

They bring buckets of water from home, hire water trucks and have recently invested in buying a Jojo tank. The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has provided the Mondeor Meteor FC with a water float tank as their temporary solution.

Who will take responsibility?

It is at this stage unclear what the cause is, who is responsible for the disconnection of the water and why.

A Jojo tank is used as an alternative water source.

The facilities representatives on multiple occasions, tried connecting with the service provider and have not received any reference numbers, thus causing a challenge with following up on the issue.

Dawood Raphalalane from A4A emphasised, “In addition to the water issue, two holes were dug in front of the FC club, which has blocked the emergency exit and ambulance entrance. The precinct is used by many young people and the holes (some as deep as 3m) pose a serious danger to community members, especially the young ones.

“Some of the holes have been left gaping for well over three years. We are taking active measures in ensuring the problems are resolved and the facilities have their water restored.”

Cllr Stuart Marias said: “At the previous Cllr Forum I raised the billing query and the reply was “we are still working on it”.

The dispute lies between the billing department and ComDev (Community Development). They are disputing the money owed and this is sadly negatively on the community, so much so that the recreation center is rarely used and the creche has had to close. I see there are new owners. The soccer club has had to defer the fixtures because of no water.”

He further added: “As for the two holes, they happened at different times. The storm water pipes have been removed, as can be seen. I had Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) storm water division on site and they have informed me that if Johannesburg Water gives them a works order they will come and repair it.

I have been asking for the works order for some time now. There is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I spoke to Logan Munsamy from Johannesburg Water (JW) and he asked me to forward him all the details which I have done. There was a meeting with JW where I again spoke to Munsamy who informed me that he has given the paperwork to Takalani to raise the works order.”

The community’s only wish is for the water to be restored.

The Southern Courier contacted the CoJ and Johannesburg Water on March 7 for comment and is still awaiting feedback.

The holes pose a danger to Mondeor residents.