Almost a third of the R1.9 billion of this year’s annual budget for the Mopani district municipality in Limpopo will be channelled toward the restoration of water.
Mopani district’s executive mayor and ANC regional chairperson, Pule Shayi, made this announcement during the state of the district address at the weekend.
The district was declared a disaster area in 2009.
The announcement comes after the R3.5 billion presidential bulk water project, which was initiated by former president Jacob Zuma and rolled out by former water and sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane, failed dismally.
The project was billed to draw water from Nandoni Dam in Venda to Giyani. More than 55 villages and Giyani town, with its farms, were geared to benefit from the project.
To compound the matter, two local dams, which are the only source of water in the area, the Nsami and Middle Letaba Dams, also dried up.
The waste water treatment plant in Giyani was also spilling waste into the Giyani River, giving rise to diseases such as diarrhoea and typhoid, which killed at least five people.
In light of the drought, the national department of water and sanitation injected R84 million into the project.
During his address on Friday, Shayi said the municipality has recently adopted a budget of just over R1.9 billion for the 2019-20 financial year. He said R569,480,250 will go to water and infrastructure projects.
“I commit that within 100 days the Mopani district municipality will be able to complete nine projects where the majority of our communities will breathe a sigh of relief on water and sanitation challenges they are experiencing.
“The projects are in the Greater Tzaneen, Greater Letaba, Maruleng, Greater Giyani and Ba-Phalaborwa municipalities,” he said.
He said the upgrading of the Ba-Phalaborwa sewerage work, upgrading Ba-Phalaborwa Mapikiri water storage tank, replacement and resizing of the water storage tank, refurbishing of package plants and upgrading of a raw water pipeline at Zava would also be completed.
He said the municipality was also finalising the registration of 11 water tankers, five crane trucks, 11 double cab bakkies and one low belt truck. He said the fleet will soon be dispatched to the five local municipalities.
Last month, communities in the Bolobedu South of Tzaneen bickered over the 30% sub-contracting deal between contractors and upcoming tenderpreneurs, after some contractors could not agree with subcontractors over the 30% policy.