Deputy President David Mabuza has promised residents of Moqhaka Local Municipality, in the Free State, that their problems with contaminated water would be resolved by mid-December. By Molefi Sompane.Residents of Moqhaka Local Municipality, in Kroonstad in the Free State, have expressed satisfaction with a recent visit by Deputy President David Mabuza, following calls to have the area’s contaminated water issues addressed.
The ongoing flow of sewage into the Vaal River is reportedly the reason behind many locals becoming sick, with residents being forced to boil their water before using it. At the same time, this has been a boost for water purification businesses in the area, with many locals opting to buy bottled water.
Mabuza promised to address the sewage problem during a visit to Kroonstad. “The issue of the wastewater treatment plant is of great concern to us, because there is spillage of sewerage into the Vaal River,” Mabuza said.
Deputy President David @DDMabuza, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Water and Sanitation, is to return to the Moqhaka Local Municipality in the Free State province. https://t.co/IZGeV05XNg pic.twitter.com/AlCsUnaJKg— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) September 21, 2021
He added that residents should have access to potable water by mid-December.
“We all agree that the sooner we fix it, the better. We have therefore set ourselves a deadline of 15 December to complete the first phase of the project, which is fixing the plant,” said Mabuza.
But the government in South Africa is notorious for making promises that it fails to deliver on. For example, our highest leader President Cyril Ramaphosa has made sweeping remarks about fixing the youth unemployment crisis while the problem has only gotten worse.
After a meeting with stakeholders, David Nieman, director of the Senriek Group, the company appointed to address the spillage and fix the water treatment plant, said they would try to beat the timeframe of mid-December.
Meanwhile, Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela said the local government was seeking lasting solutions to the water challenges in Kroonstad and surrounding areas.
“With water being a key natural resource, government accepts that it is unacceptable that our people struggle to access it and all efforts will be made to ensure that we provide clean drinkable water.
“Government impressed on all whose responsibility it is to ensure the provision of water to the people of our province and to move with the necessary speed. We are committed to ensuring that the basic resource of water is delivered without putting our people in danger.”
She added that government will closely follow the developments in the coming weeks to ensure that the resolutions which were adopted are implemented without delay. Ntombela also apologised to the community.
Meanwhile, local clinics have confirmed seeing a high rate of patients with stomach problems.
Free State Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said: “The ongoing spillage and water contamination happening in Moqhaka has increased the number of patients in all our clinic in the municipality. We are, however, hopeful that government will attend to the matter urgently,” he said.
Health-e News will track developments on this story.– Health-e News