R300 million slated to improve Madibeng Municipal water
Local Ward 3 Councillor Susan Nthangeni says R300 million has been allocated to fix local municipal pipes and boreholes following deadly service delivery protests in April.
Early this year, media reported that four people died as a result of water service delivery protests in the local municipality’s Mothutlung township.
Now Nthangeni tells OurHealth that R 300 million has been slated to repair water infrastructure as concerns about the supply and quality of water persist.
Nkele Moumakwe from Madidi about 40 km north of Brits said that communities continue relying on water trucks. While the arrangement may be inconvenient, Moumakwe says that many people feel that the water is safer than water that comes from local taps.
Local health care workers who asked to remain anonymous credited community education about water safety and the water trucks for a lack of reported diarrhoea cases
Nthangeni’s announcement comes just months after Acting Municipal Manager Tebogo Motlashuping reported that the municipality faced a monthly deficit of about R30 million to effect plans to turn water services around.
In a July presentation before Parliament, Motlashuping said that despite continued financial difficulties that the municipality was partnering with Rand and Magalies Water, and local mining companies to improve water service delivery.
Local mining companies are drilling additional boreholes in the area and will invest R2.6 million to adequately light boreholes as well as high crime areas. A local water plant has also been refurbished.
However the Department of Water Affairs, which is providing water trucks, had said that the municipality will be expected to eventually purchase its own trucks for this purpose.
The municipality only collects about 64 percent of its debt, Motlashuping said. He added that debt collectors refuse to go into areas where community members have vowed not to pay outstanding debts they say local government told them would be written off.
He added that with the current poor provision of water, it is unlikely that the municipality will be able to collect water charges anytime soon.
Read more stories from Health-e News’ water investigation:
- Water trucks take over as communities run dry
- Residents left to plead for water at school gates
- Dirty water deliveries for Limpopo villages
- Water crisis looms in Kestell, Free State
- Water shortage sparks diarrhoea cases
- Bethlehem informal residents beg water off neighbours
- Municipality installs pump but community can’t foot electrical bill
- Tshwane communities survive on a trickle of water