WESTVILLE SAPS have endured a trying time with their taps running dry and a couple of days without electricity.
The station finally had water again on Friday, after almost five weeks of the taps being dry following a “small” accident with a hydrant in the beginning of June.
According to Wayne Le Roux, secretary of the Westville Community Policing Forum, the situation resulted in police needing to visit nearby businesses and even malls to use basic facilities and had to arrange their own drinking water.
However, one staff member working at the police station confirmed on Monday afternoon that the water had been restored “sometime late last week, either Thursday or Friday.”
Lack of running water is not all the station had to contend with. Le Roux said on Wednesday, 25 July, there were power problems.
“We have had problems with electricity too, just as the water came back on,” he said and asked not be named due to new rules forbidding policemen from speaking to the media.
Le Roux confirmed the new rules given to police.
“They have been told they are not allowed to speak to the press at all,” he explained. Le Roux even went so far as to say these rules made it difficult for members to do their work.
“I am, luckily, not to be forced to follow these rules myself,” he said.
“The red tape the police have to deal with is really difficult.”
Le Roux also said he felt badly for the staff who had to work in the police station given some of the conditions under which they were expected to work.
“I lost my cool with the situation completely,” he said on Friday before the water had been restored.
“The problem was repaired for a short time, but there was no water pressure and then we found another problem. I just came from there and saw a big hole in the driveway,” he said.
However, Captain Elizabeth Squires, communications officer of Westville SAPS, said on Tuesday the station was really only without water for “about three weeks. It is all sorted out now,” she said dismissing the time of five weeks reported by others as an exaggeration.
Asked about the electricity issues, Squires also downplayed it’s effects. “That was only for two days and it wasn’t an issue with our department but it is also fine now,” she said.
By the time of going to press, the Highway Mail received no response to its repeated requests to the city for confirmation and comment on the disrupted services.
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