This emerged after the DA conducted oversight of the living conditions of the people of Kraaipan, a village nearly 70km from Mafikeng, he said in a statement.
“It is outrageous and deeply disappointing to stand alongside residents who have to queue at the communal tap and wait their turn to collect water in containers for hours. Some have to then carry the water for kilometres.
“The DA observed on Thursday how schoolchildren walk from tap to tap trying to get waterafter the school day, hoping to find a working tap,” he said.
North West was one of the most arid provinces and water supply was becoming more of a problem. In Lokaleng (part of Kraaipan) residents had no government-supplied water at all, and were forced to buy water from private boreholes at R100 a week.
“This represents a fundamental neglect by government and is breaching constitutional rights. The Old Kraaipan area has [a] completely unpredictable water supply – one day on, one day off. In other areas residents told us that water shortages can go on as long as two months at a time when the taps are dry,” Basson said.
Access to sufficient water was a right protected by the Constitution. However, this community, consisting of 2669 households in an area stretching over 31.47 square km, did not enjoy this fundamental right “because the ANC government has forgotten these people”.
“During the investigation we found that only one of the four pumps in the area is working, but even if the reservoir should be full to capacity, it will only be able to supply 2kl water per person per month. It was also revealed to us that the water at the local clinic is not drinkable.”
Basson said the DA would ask the minister of water and sanitation to immediately send a rapid response unit to bring water tankers to Kraaipan and to investigate how the pumps could be repaired.
“The DA furthermore learned from the community that a tar road being built through the Kraaipan village will give access to the houses of councillors and other ANC connected people. It is alarming that money can be spent on road construction to benefit the ANC while the community suffers from thirst and no sanitation.
“Upon our exit at the Kraaipan reservoir, ANC members surrounded our vehicle, held the members hostage, and threatened our oversight team, which included Members of Parliament and senior DA leadership. We are not deterred. While the ANC neglects the poor, we will uncover their difficulties and we will fight to correct them,” Basson said.