National 18.8.2016 08:30 am

Limpopo water board to spend R10bn on water crisis

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

Limpopo’s five regions – Capricorn, Waterberg, Vhembe, Sekhukhune and Mopani – have all experienced acute water shortages since early 2000.

The Lepelle Northern Water Board (LNWB) says it’s going to spend nearly R10 billion to address chronic water shortages in five regions of Limpopo.

The board, which is the implementing agent for the national department of water and sanitation, said yesterday the money would be used to augment poor water schemes in the province.

Limpopo’s five regions – Capricorn, Waterberg, Vhembe, Sekhukhune and Mopani – have all experienced acute water shortages since early 2000. Two ANC presidents, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, promised water shortages would become a thing of the past. But in 2009, the region was declared a disaster area.

“To date, there is still no drop of water in our taps,” resident Thabo Mokwele, of Mamphokgo village near Marble Hall, told The Citizen yesterday. “The ANC in Limpopo secured 69% of the votes this year – down from 81% in the 2011 local government elections. Most of us did not go to the polls because they always make empty promises,” Mokwele said.

But the newly elected chairperson of LNWB, Kennedy Tshivase, said that hand in glove with the national department of water and sanitation, the agency had set aside R6 billion to address water problems in the Mopani region, in particular.

“We have also set aside money to the tune of R3.7 billion to augment water schemes in dry areas of Sekhukhune, using the Flag Boshielo and De Hoop dams as our main sources of water. There will also be a huge pipeline that is poised to run from Sekhukhune to Polokwane in an effort to ensure those living around the province’s economic hub have adequate clean drinking water for everyday use,” added Tshivase.

He said that a further R500 million was set aside for the construction of purification plants in the Nsami and Nandoni dams in Venda and Giyani. He said the plants would help reticulate water to more than 234 villages sprawling between the two towns.

The agency’s CEO, Phineas Legodi, said construction of the N’wamitwa Dam in Tzaneen was also on the cards. Construction work was earmarked to commence in earnest early next year, he said.

“Once it was completed, the dam would assist farmers in the subtropical paradise to swell their markets.”

According to Legodi, the province was rolling out a water masterplan led by “government intellectuals” in an endeavour to put the water problems faced by the province to bed.

– news@citizen.co.za

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