Bosman Grobler, MPL
Spokesperson on CoGTA: DA Mpumalanga:
Some communities in Mpumalanga continue with their daily struggle to be provided with water.
As South Africa marked the National Water Week recently this province is struggling to deal with water outages, contaminated water and dry taps.
This has been the case in some parts of Mbombela, Bushbuckridge, DR JS Moroka, Nkomazi, Emalahleni, where service delivery protests have become a routine for these communities.
In his State of the province address last month Premier David Mabuza said his administration has invested R2,7 billion in programmes for water and sanitation in the current financial year. Some of these projects include the completion of Steel Reservoirs with a capacity of two mega water storage, in Phola, Matsulu, Ka-Bokweni, Ka-Shabalala, Steenbok, Mangweni, Casteel, Thusong and Cunningmore.
However Mabuza’s utterances are in contrast to what is happening across the province.
During a Human Rights event on Saturday, the Democratic Alliance councillors and activists in Mbombela intervened and temporarily took charge of duties of the local municipality by providing water to some of the residents in Ward 8.
These residents have been without water for three weeks.
In Bushbuckridge 15-year-old Lucas Lebyane was shot and killed allegedly by police while residents protested for the non-delivery of water, another boy was shot and wounded in the leg during the same protest.
In Emalahleni one of the province’s major cities, the water is running from their taps is dark and in some areas sewerage is running in the streets.
March last year the South African Human Rights tabled a damning report on South Africa’s water catastrophe. The report revealed that the water and sanitation problems in Mpumalanga are as a result of many factors. Some of which are a lack of budget, poor revenue collection, lack of technical, management and business skills, political interference, corruption and unclear municipal powers and functions.