TEMPERS flared yesterday as parched Grahamstown residents braved a heat wave to try to get water after taps ran dry a week ago.
The shortage has caused widespread anger and left thousands scrambling for water.
Long lines of people braved 36°Cheat to collect spring water on the outskirts of town.
Others filled containers at the fire department amid concerns there could be a disaster if a fire broke out and tanker trucks were empty.
Residents said they were angry that several long-term water outages this year had still not been sorted out despite interventions by President Jacob Zuma's office.
Pensioner Millieka Taai – who lives near Rhodes – said she spent lots of time and money driving three times a day to collect water to drink, wash and flush the toilet.
Taai said she was unhappy having to pay rates for water even though she had not got a drop from her taps recently.
Extension 7 resident Mbulelo Jonas said he had been battling to get water for a week and had resorted to driving to the spring every two days to collect 50 litres.
The biggest complaint about the water outage is the lack of communication between municipal officials and angry residents and ratepayers.
The outage comes despite recent interventions by Zuma's office to try and resolve the problem after Rhodes University complained of a lack of communication by senior Makana municipal officials.
Although the problem with antiquated pumps seems to have been resolved and water again started trickling through taps, DA MPL Dacre Haddon yesterday said they were communicating directly with the Presidency to try get swifter action to resolve the crisis.