09 October 2018 Read: 106
Nkakareng Rakgoale, Mopani District Municipality (MDM) executive mayor, has lashed out at councillors and community leaders for their silence over illegal water connections within their communities. These illegal connections cause damage to the infrastructure thus leaving the whole community without water for some days. Rakgoale was speaking during a press briefing on the side-lines of the Mopani Water Summit recently.
The regional water “Bosberaad” was held as a build up to the Limpopo Water and Sanitation conference set for October this year at a date still to be determined by the provincial office. The summits, according to the municipality, are aimed at finding solutions to water woes which have plagued communities in the region for some time and they even resorted to taking to the streets in protest.
Mayor Rakgoale said “we need the community, in cases where people break pipes while illegally connecting water to their homes, to report these matters to their councillors. For example in Lenyenye people know the person who broke the pipe while connecting water but they are reluctant to name the person so he could be reported and a case be opened against him or her. The community should help authorities with evidence to apprehend perpetrators.”
Rakgoale said the challenge they face as the municipality is revenue collection which would be escalated to the maintenance of the existing infrastructure as some have aged over time. “There are communities where water is available for a 24 hours for seven days and through engagements they indicated that they are ready to pay for the services which are rendered to them.”
“In this financial year we are going to bury a dedicated steel pipe from the Thabina Water Works plant right into the dams of Lenyenye township. These water shortages the residents experienced in the past was due to interruptions into the supply of water because people would break the pipes and connect water to the villages nearby,” added the Mayor in response to a question posed by Bulletin.
The mayor further said that the importance of the provincial water summit will be that municipalities will interact with each other on the challenges they experience as well as the mechanisms which are applied to deal with some of the challenges the municipalities would be facing. She said though the backlog in water provision might still be high, inroads were made to alleviate the crisis in many villages in the district.
The water crisis faced by some communities in the Ba-Phalaborwa municipality and Mod-
jadjiskloof would a thing of the past as the interruptions in water supply in places such as Mashishimale and Makhushane came to a halt after the municipality intervened. At Sekororo the long awaited water reticulation project has been completed and is expected to be launched in December.