Leeuwfontein water crisis reach boiling point

LEEUWFONTEIN – Hundreds of angry residents of Leeuwfontein outside Marble Hall embarked on fierce protest over lack of water in the area.

From the early hours of Friday morning, the protesting residents barricaded roads with stones, tree branches and trunks and burning tyres as they attempted to register their frustration with Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM), rendering the area ungovernable with workers unable to get transport to work.

The residents worried that several attempts made to get help from the district municipality with water crisis that marred the area for years were yet to be addressed.

In a memorandum submitted at the SDM offices later that day, the residents stated that at the back of their frustrations were millions of rands committed by the district municipality to provide water to Leeuwfontein since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

The residents noted the spanning period of 24 years of community engagements with the district municipality, interjected by a succession of three district executive mayors, who dismally failed with flying colours to break the impasse of providing water to the community of Leeuwfontein, leaving them with hope against hope.

They indicated the issue of dummy water projects that resulted in installation of different coloured underground water reticulation pipes that were currently as white elephants without serving the purpose they were meant for.

Furthermore of note was the awkward positioning of Leeuwfontein vis-à-vis their source of water supply, Flag Boshielo Dam, of which the area is very last geographically, to access water after having been intercepted from the main line by communities adjacent to the supply line.

The residents complained that notwithstanding the severe shortage of water in the area since 1994 until recently when the problem reached monumental crisis, the township was going for months without even a single drop f water.

They said as per resolution of the meeting held on 25 September 2019 at the community hall in Leeuwfontein they demanded the provision of a bulk water supply line from Marble Hall water plant to Leeuwfontein to permanently resolve water shortage to enable the community access to water without interruptions.

On Monday 30 September 2019, SDM Executive Mayor, Stanley Ramaila and his Exco, met with Leeuwfontein Residents Association (LRA) in the township to over their concerns.

Ephraim Chiloane, LRA President, said they were pleased that the executive mayor kept his promise to meet with them.

“We are glad that the executive mayor came to meet with us and he has shown confidence in addressing our problems, said Chiloane.

Thapelo Motseo

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