RICHMOND, SC— The city walls in Rhodes, South Africa’s first state, are still standing, and it appears as if no one will ever get to them again.
For the past few months, the city’s residents have been complaining about the lack of rain, poor visibility, and power outages, and the country’s national electric utility, Eskom, has been scrambling to keep the lights on.
But the city was once a thriving metropolis, with millions of residents, many of them foreign students, living there, and this week the lights are back on, but only for those who are staying at hotels, according to the mayor of Rhodes.
The city’s water and power utilities have been shut down for almost two weeks, and as of Friday, the entire population of the city of 3.4 million had received the news.
“There was no electricity, and we didn’t know what was going on,” said Mayor Taimoule Njoro of Rhodes, which is home to around 1 million people and has a population of around 5 million.
“We have to go back to work and be back at the same place, to the same hotel, and all of our services are down.”
Njono said the city, which sits on the tip of South Africa, has faced a massive crisis of water and electricity supply, with the water network having been destroyed in an earthquake in January, and then when the country was hit by another earthquake last year.
“I think we have the same situation now with our electric network,” he said.
“Our water system has been destroyed by earthquakes.
I think we are just in a state of emergency right now.” “
The only water that is available for the water treatment plants is for the hotels.
I think we are just in a state of emergency right now.”
The city is now the epicenter of a nationwide crisis, with a number of countries including Argentina, the United Kingdom, and France all reporting outages.
According to the South African government, more than 300,000 people have been affected by the blackout, with many having to rely on public water and food supplies.
Njóoro said it was important to note that while the blackout was widespread, the country is now in the midst of a severe drought, which has affected the population in a devastating way.
“When we had a drought, people were hungry and there was no food,” he told Al Jazeera.
“Now it is completely different.”
He said the government’s response to the situation has been slow, with it only bringing out temporary relief measures during the worst of the drought.
“It is very hard to find any solutions for this situation.
The government is still talking about a national response,” he added.
Nijoro said the drought was the result of climate change, and that it was only recently that the city had started to receive rainfall again.
“They [the authorities] should have come out with a flood management plan to help the city recover,” he argued.
The problem has worsened since a major quake hit in April, which killed over 30,000 and damaged some of the country´s biggest buildings.
Ndjokoro said that the government was not taking any measures to protect the people living in the city because they were being displaced, with residents unable to find other housing.
“If the government is not doing something, it is not the city,” he warned.
He also said that Eskom was “still struggling to get the water to the people”, and that he has no idea what will happen when Eskom finally runs out of water.
“This is a problem of the people who are still living in Rhodes,” he concluded.