Ngwako Modjadji and Alex Matlala
2 minute read
20 Jan 2016
5:00 am

‘R9bn needed’ to fight drought

Ngwako Modjadji and Alex Matlala

Levels of most dams in the province dropped from over 70% to under 40%.

The dry river bed of Mfabeni Swamp in iSimagaliso Wetland Park shows how desperate the situation is for wildlife. Photo: Amanda Watson

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha has set aside R360 million to address the water scarcity in the province, but Lepelle Northern Water says the province needs more than R9 billion.

“The money is for immediate intervention and more money would be sourced yearly for longterm interventions,” Mathabatha told The Citizen in an interview.

“The budget, which could be added as the new financial year begins in April, would revitalise the current schemes and augment those that need a facelift.”

He said the province currently had Flag Boshielo Dam, De Hoop Dam, Nandoni Dam, Middle Letaba Dam, Tzaneen Dam, Ebenezer Dam and Nsami Dam as some of the main sources of water for the near five million populace of Limpopo.

Mathabatha added that the province would hold prayer sessions if the drought continued.

But Lepelle Northern Water, which is an implementing agent for the national department of water and sanitation, says for a period of five years the province would need R9.325 billion.

Lepelle Northern Water boss, Phineas Legodi, on Monday said the agency was currently responsible for water services in Mopani, Sekhukhune, Capricorn and Vhembe district municipalities.

Legodi said three – Mopani, Capricorn and Vhembe – needed funding of about R1.052 billion to upgrade the water infrastructure currently under construction.

Money to the tune of R350 million was urgently needed for special and emergency interventions for projects in and around Giyani.

Legodi added that about R373 million was needed for the improvement of the Kgapane purification plant, R340 million for Nandoni and Nsami, R251 million for Mamemetja Sekororo, R480 million for Nkambako and Babanana, and about R15 million for Nwamitwa.

Chairman for the Vhembe complaints resolution committee for the Nandoni Dam settlements, Solomon Baloyi, said 67 boreholes had been drilled but residents still have no water.

In the Homu area of Giyani, 28 boreholes were also drilled and none of them had a drop of water. According to Lepelle, the levels of most of the dams dropped from over 70 % to below 40%.

Legodi said this includes the Tzaneen and Ebenezer dams which are the main supply for citrus farms in the area.