The challenges of water shortage for residents of Ga-Mphahlele outside Lebowakgomo in the Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality will soon be a thing of the past as two water projects worth over R300 million were awarded to the communities in the area.
This follows a mayoral imbizo which was held on March 20 2018 at Maijane community hall at Maijane where the Executive mayor of Capricorn District Municipality John Mpe met with affected communities to hear their grievances and find a way in addressing their water challenges.
Early this year, the disgruntled residents illegally shutdown Olifantspoort water plant which is situated at Lesetsi village outside Maijane village, interrupting water supply to areas like Lebowakgomo, Ga-Mphahlele, Zebediela and Polokwane in demand that they also get uninterrupted water supply in their villages like other areas.
Residents forcefully shutdown the water plant, saying that water from their own backyards cannot be supplied to other areas while they go pipes are remains dry.
Sylvester Phasha from Bolatjane village told the Capricorn district executive mayor John Mpe that there’s is a dire need for water in their village and that residents cannot wait for the new water projects.
“We are in dire need and something must be done as a temporary measure while waiting for the projects to be completed” Phasha says
Another resident from Maijane village Koketso Phogole gave a lash out at Mpe, telling him that they need time frames and not just empty promises
Other residents told Mpe that he must come back to the area not through an imbizo but to have door to door campaigns and see where the problems are.
Amongst other issues raised to the mayor were building of proper sanitation facilities, proper roads, clinics and payment of volunteering staff working to maintain community halls amongst other things.
Responding to the concerns of the people, Mpe committed to address all water related challenges and other challenges the communities are facing
“As the district municipality, we agree with all the concerns raised by the residents especially the fact that some people in Lebowakgomo area are not paying their municipal services and that impacts on sustainable water supply to the rural villages” says Mpe.
Mpe further says he will ensure that people who maintain good conditions at Maijane community hall get paid stipend through EPWP, further saying learnership programme will be advertised soon to benefit local youth.
“The district municipality has committed to demolish the old Lebowakgomo stadium and build a new one that will be named after the former ANC first president Sefako Makgato” says Mpe.
“Because of the sacrifices made by people like Makgatho, the people of Ga-Mphahlele deserves better and for that reason, Lebowakgomo fire station will also be named after Makgatho” Mpe adds
Mpe says Lepelle Northern Water will build a new water plant that will ease water supply pressure from Olifantspoort water plant which currently supply water to Capricorn and Sekhukhune districts.
He says in three weeks’ time the mayoral committee will return to the Mphahlele area for a door to door campaign like they do during elections campaigns to see where residents experience challenges.
“I met with Road Agency Limpopo and they will ensure residents of Lesetsi, Nkotokwane and Tswaing gets proper tarred roads” Mpe adds.
“The two projects handed handed over will start with immediate effect and will create over 300 jobs for the duration period of less than 3 years” He concludes.