While the country is preparing for a national lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak that causes Covid-19, a community under the Madibeng municipality in the North West is still without water, more than 10 days after their taps dried up.
From midnight on Thursday, nobody will be allowed to leave their homes for 21 days, except for those listed as essential-services personnel.
While government has been urging the public to practise good hygiene and to wash their hands to avoid infection, residents of Mothotlung fear they might still be without water during the 21-day lockdown.
Morapedi Mmotwe said he had attempted to reach out to the president and the North West MEC for help, but to no avail.
“In our section, we have been without water for 10 days. The last time I had water was on 10 March.
“Rand Water promised to start sorting this out by giving us water tankers on Monday but this hasn’t happened. Whenever we do have water, it’s at a low pressure.
“I had a bed-and-breakfast business and that had to shut down due to this,” he said.
Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu said they would procure all available water tankers from both public and private sectors.
“We want to ensure we supply every community that needs water with the necessary tankers and tanks, and will be providing them, and will have collection points so there is no overcrowding.”
Hand-washing facilities would be offered in high-density urban areas such as taxi ranks and bus stations.
“We will put a tank for every area and a wash basin so everyone can have access to it.”
As for Madibeng municipality, Rand Water was instructed to assemble a technical team to ensure water supply during the lockdown, said department of water and sanitation director-general Mbulelo Tshangana.
“There is no way we are going to make our citizens suffer. Everyone must have access to water. That message comes from the minister and the president and we will deliver water to all of our communities.”