All the poor community of Sekhukhune in Limpopo wanted was clean running water.
Instead they now have to endure the pain of losing one of their own.
The settlement of Vleishboom outside Jane-Furse woke up on Monday to the news that one of their community activists, Phorane Lenslord Kobo, had died after falling into a ditch.
Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the body of the 25-year-old Kobo was discovered by passers-by on Sunday morning in a ditch prepared for the supply of water to the area.
Ngoepe said an inquest had been opened to determine the circumstances leading to Kobo’s death.
His grieving family said yesterday they were baffled that the contractor of the project had not set foot in their house since the tragedy.
Kobo’s mother, Hilda Kobo, said her son died as the family was arranging a surprise birthday party for him in December.
“I am finished. I feel like I am naked. I was still expecting a lot from my boy but death, unnecessarily, robbed me of the most valuable gift from God,” the weeping mother said.
Kobo’s uncle, Samson Phakwago, said he was baffled that most of the trenches around the community had protective barriers, except the one that claimed the life of his nephew.
“We therefore blame the contractor for failing to do things by the book,” he said.
Phakwago, however, said he was pleased that the municipality, under the stewardship of executive mayor Stan Ramaila, visited the family after the incident.
Spokesperson for the Sekhukhune district municipality Willy Mosoma said the municipality had agreed to pay for funeral responsibilities for the deceased.
The department of water and sanitation confirmed that the trench into which Kobo fell and died was part of a project in the province spearheaded by the department to supply bulk water to affected communities.
Departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau warned people not to walk near trenches dug for water reticulation purposes, saying as this could endanger their lives.