The City of Ekurhuleni has absolved itself of responsibility for a seven-week outage in Tsakane, pointing a finger at Rand Water and saying that it paid the entity.
"We have paid Rand Water, and we expect service. Rand Water must supply us with the water we had paid for," City spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said.
"Because of a technical problem from their side, we couldn't provide our residents with water," he said, adding that to mitigate the effects of the outage, the municipality deployed water tankers to the area.
He said Rand Water was best placed to explain what caused the outage.
"Reservoirs are filled up by Rand Water, not by us," he added.
Dlamini's comments come after the outage sparked anger in Tsakane residents who embarked on violent protests to demand access to water.
Many residents blamed the City for failing to provide them with water for seven weeks, leaving them with no other alternative but to fetch water from a brick-manufacturing site and a polluted body of water they call a stream.
Some of them boiled the water for drinking.
By Wednesday afternoon, water became available in some homes after engineers from the municipality attended to the problem at a reservoir.
The engineers arrived in a nyala and were seen working under heavy police guard.
But community leader Isaac Ncengwa alleged that greedy politicians deliberately caused the outage.
"We are rejoicing seeing water coming from some homes. Someone somewhere deliberately closed taps, preventing people from accessing water for some people to enrich themselves with the water tankers tenders. Our people live in bad conditions caused by a lack of water. They are subjected to drinking dirty water. We have witnessed them sourcing that dirty water," Ncengwa said.
Dlamini took issue with the claim.
"The allegations that our politicians are benefitting through water tankers are unfounded. There is no corruption linked to this water shortage. Anyone with proof of corruption must report it to the police or come to our office," he said.
Attempts to get comment from Rand Water were unsuccessful.
Questions were sent on Wednesday to spokesperson Makenosi Maroo and she had not responded by Friday.
Ncengwa added that residents demanded that the municipality take steps to ensure that drinking water is clean.
"We also told the municipality to test the water before releasing [it] to the public. We want a detailed report of what happened. They must explain what caused the shortage. Water has been restored to most homes in Tsakane," he said.