GROBLERSDAL – Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality (EMLM) has acceded to being faced with challenges of water and sanitation backlogs affecting over 30 and 50 thousand families respectively.

This was announced during the local municipality’s recent tabling of its 2020/2021 draft budget conveyed to residents through local radio stations amid COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

Julia Mathebe, EMLM Mayor, said the local municipality with an increased population of over 260 000, compared to 2011 Stats SA census wherein the population was at over 240 000, would consider tackling the problem of water backlog which stood at just over 52 percent.

Mathebe said the sanitation provision backlog, at over 84 percent, affected more than 56 thousand households in the local municipality consisting of 31 wards.

The mayor said that government had concerted efforts to fight the backlog with the provision of free basic water Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM), a water authority in the district, provided. She said approximately 20141 households received free basic water.

The problem of water and sanitation has seen residents, especially in Moutse, taking to the streets in fierce protests in the past and earlier this year.

Lindiwe Sisulu, Department of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation Minister, availed R143 million towards Moutse drought Relief Programme in February this year when she visited the area at the height of violent protests over lack of water.

However, residents in the area made several complaints over the snails’ pace at which implementation of the programme is moving as they still face having to fetch water from wells they shared with animals, fearing for their health and crying disservice from the authorities.

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