Communities’ collective efforts to access water met with fire

NGWARITSI – Collective efforts by members of the community in various parts of Sekhukhune district to bring water to their homes are being met with fire by the district municipality.

The community members are forking out money from their own pockets in an effort to connect themselves to water pipelines that pass through their villages.

Now, various villages are up in arms after their own efforts to have access to water are being met with subsequent disconnections allegedly by Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM).

Such disconnections outplayed themselves in Ngwaritsi Village in Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality recently when pipes residents connected to a main water pipeline were abruptly disconnected.

And the villagers are fuming that instead of complementing their noble efforts to improve access to water in communities, the district municipality fought their improvisation.

The residents argue that they are being sabotaged after they did splendid work buying equipment out of their own pockets to ensure water supply in their areas.

“Instead of appreciating and commending the community for providing a helping hand, the district municipality is punishing residents. We don’t know who is behind this gruesome, senseless, heartless and cruel behavior,” said Seun Mogotji, Bolsheviks Party of South Africa leader, an opposition in SDM Council.

The residents said they would not lose hope until they are provided with access to clean water, a basic need.

“The district municipality needs to be thankful that members of the community were doing something to help them with the water crisis which dates backs years ago. People are doing something to fight the experienced lack of access to water, which the district municipality should applaud and not fight against,” said a resident at the RDP section in Leeuwfontein outside Marble Hall, who did not want his name published.

Enos Phetla, a resident of Ngwaritsi Village, said together with other members of the community, they were expected to appear before the Nebo Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 22 July 2020, after they were arrested and charged with tempering with water pipelines belonging to the district municipality.

“What surprises us most is that we met with people from the district municipality recently and told them about our plans to connect water for ourselves after they earlier said there was no material to connect us. We even informed them on progress made after we started but we are now being arrested for helping them solve water problems faced by communities,” said Phetla.

Last Week, Moloko Moloto, SDM Communications Manager, said the district municipality had set aside an allocation to extend the pipeline for the residents of Ngwaritsi Village and work would start in the coming weeks.

Thapelo Motseo

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