Alex Matlala
2 minute read
3 Mar 2016
9:00 am

R1bn to tackle water shortage

Alex Matlala

Minister works with mines to take on ‘immediate concern’ of thirsty communities.

Picture: Thinkstock

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has set aside more than R1 billion to address issues related to the shortage of water in Limpopo this financial year.

Her ministry, according to Mokonyane, will spend more than R60 million between 2016 and 2022. The minister made these remarks during a government drought intervention held at Practiseer Township in Sekhukhune outside Burgersfort, Limpopo, yesterday. Her visit to the area follows government’s declaration of Limpopo, North West, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga as disaster areas.

Mokonyane said government had long-term plans to build dams in an effort to curb the escalating water scarcity. She noted with concern that immediate intervention was needed.

“We have therefore set money to the tune of R1 billion to address the shortage in the province,” said Mokonyane. “We will drill boreholes in every corner of the province to ensure we have water in all our communities on a daily basis.” Mokonyane said mining houses within the province had been engaged to extend a helping hand in the provision of water.

“About 75% of our province is rural. We will work hands in glove with Lepelle Northern Water to fit genuine asbestos pipes that would stand the test of time,” she said. “Our aim is to make sure there is water on the streets of every community. But I must warn all of you, stop stealing and vandalising the borehole equipment because it helps us get water.

“In Burgersfort, we have 1 089 boreholes. To add salt to the wound, 604 of them are dysfunctional. These are the boreholes whose equipment was stolen by thugs.” According to Mokonyane, Giyani was hardhit by drought.

She said she was thrilled there was “massive” intervention that had turned it into a water flooding area. Lepelle Northern Water boss Phineas Legodi said their agents were working with the government of Limpopo and its municipalities to ensure water shortages become a thing of the past in the province.

– Caxton News Service