Tzaneen water shutdown costs residents their monthly grant

Jacques Smalle, MPL

DA Spokesperson on Local Government:

The DA can reveal that only two of the nine water boreholes in Tzaneen, which were quickly installed just prior to the 2011 Local Government Elections, are functional. Since the 2011 election, no maintenance has been carried out on these boreholes.

Residents in Ward 25 Tzaneen now, have to purchase water on the black market, at highly inflated costs. The residents have to use their entire monthly grants to purchase water in order to access this basic human right.

A water truck which delivers water to the area only comes with water once a week, on some weeks. The only other alternative water source is a 4 km hike to the nearest functional water borehole point point.

The DA will report this shocking situation to the South African Human Rights Commission for investigation. The right of access to water is clearly being violated by the Mopani District Municipality.

The fact that monthly grant money has to be used by poor residents to purchase water, is unacceptable. Children and the elderly are suffering the consequences of no money for food, healthcare and basic needs.

The DA believes that the Mopani District Council has completely failed the people of Tzaneen. The Municipal Manager, Tim Maake, has just been suspended pending investigation into fraud amounting to millions of rands.

The DA will monitor the Human Rights Commission investigation and will push for all findings to be implemented.