Billions spent on water projects, but Limpopo villages still dry

Government spent R3.4 billion on the overflowing De Hoop Dam in Sekhukhune.

Residents of Limpopo have pleaded for Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu to explain why they still drink dirty water, also used by dogs and donkeys, while government spent R3.4 billion on the overflowing De Hoop Dam in Sekhukhune.

In the meantime, the R3.3 billion bulk water supply project in Giyani remained incomplete.

Communities in Giyani are hard hit by drought and want the minister to ask water boards and Department of Water and Sanitation officials why so many projects in the province remained incomplete, despite a chunk of money having been injected into the projects.

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They also wanted the minister to ask his subordinates and officials why residents continued to go thirsty, even though most dams in the province were full.

Thomo Nkadimeng from greater Fetakgomo Tubatse in Sekhukune said his community was jubilant when government built the De Hoop Dam in mining-rich Burgersfort.

“But many years after completion, the R3.4-billion dam helps locals with nothing.

“Instead of providing locals, especially the sprawling villages around the dam, with water, it passes through to Polokwane and other towns, leaving the villagers high and dry,” he said.

“Worse… 49 wards which constitute a 169 villages are now making friends with baboons and donkeys in rivers for household water, including cooking and drinking. This is a disgrace and threat to our constitutional democracy.”

According to Lepelle Northern Water, a state-owned water utility responsible for bulk water supply in Limpopo, the Giyani drought relief, or Nandoni to Nsami, project 2021-22 allocation was R61.34 million.

The Giyani water service project for 2021-22 had been given R160 million and the Babanana project R120.6 million.

READ MORE: Polokwane faces water crisis ‘due to operational challenges

Lepelle Northern Water Board spokesperson Yolande Nel said the utility was working on the Moutse drought relief project, with a budget of R143 million, the Giyani drought relief, with a budget of R700 million, the Giyani water service project, with R520 million in the coffers and the Babanana project which was still not complete.

“The total amount required for completion of the Giyani bulk water project is R450 million and the completion date is envisaged to be December 2022,” said Nel.

The Moutse drought relief project is 75% complete.

According to Bolsheviks party general secretary Seun Mogotji yesterday, water tanks that had been provided were no longer durable; their stands were broken and people still had to drink dirty river water with wild animals.

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