STERKFONTEIN – Sekhukhune District Municipality’s lack of clean drinkable water provision woes seem far from over as community members go for years without access.
This despite Limpopo Department of Health’s drive to caution residents against drinking water from possibly contaminated rivers and wells.
Most residents in the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality are forced to fetch drinking water from questionable rivers and wells as the district municipality continues to fail to provide them proper access to clean drinking water.
In Sterkfontein outside Groblersdal, ward 29 of the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality, the problem of lack of provision of clean drinkable water remains the order of the day after many years.
Residents said the only source of drinking water was the nearby rivers and wells they dug in the available wetlands in the area.
The villagers claim that in the area, unlike other villages, they have not had water tanks from the municipality to help ease the problem.
Herbet Radingwana, a community leader, said the villagers were currently forced to share water with animals from rivers and wells.
Radingwana said the unattended problem, which dates back many years ago, was increasingly putting health of residents at a serious risk.
“We are drinking water with animals and fear the rivers and wells from where we fetch water may be contaminated and posing a serious health hazard,” complained Radingwana.
Radingwana further said several complaints were made to the municipality on poor service delivery but nothing had been done.
He added residents were relieved to see two reservoirs built in the village with the hope that their problem of access to clean drinkable water would be addressed.
“We then realised that the reservoirs were to provide for other villages such as Tafelkop and Luckau. We have given up our hopes for access to clean drinkable water. We have been suffering for many years,” added Radingwana.
The community leader said not only access to clean drinkable water was an eyesore for residents in Sterkfontein.
He said the roads were in a poor condition resulting in inaccessibility of other parts of the village.
“We are surprised to see in the municipality’s IDP that Moganetswa Road had been tarred and completed in 2010 when the road is still gravel. We are not taken seriously.
Pelmer Madihlaba, a resident, said people were forced to travel long distances to fetch water from rivers in wheelbarrows
“The water is not clean, we are risking our lives but there is nothing we can do. We have heard of a water project that was supposed to come to our rescue but nothing has been implemented. Affording residents are forced to fork out from their pockets to buy water from those selling from cows and donkey carts. They charge R5 per 200l tank. People also forced to do laundry from the rivers and wells risking their safety as well,” added Madisha.
Attempts to get comment from the district municipality were not successful at the time of going to press.