After four years drinking contaminated water, the community of Sefateng section in Masehleng village situated under FetaKgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (FTLM) expressed their disappointment over water supply by Sekhukhune district Municipality (SDM).
This follows after a broken down old borehole which was providing water to the area in 2017.
Despite the municipality receiving over 20 water tanks in the begging of lockdown, Masehleng residents reiterated that the municipality does not supply them with water tanks.
Community members in the area remain hopeless in having access to temporary measures of getting water tanks.
According to Masehleng community leader Thobane Kgwadi, in terms of notice for allocation of powers and functions, the responsible MEC for local government in the province designated the District municipality the responsibility of both water services authority and water services provider.
Hopeless community members said they have been engaging with responsible stakeholders in repairing the broken borehole but nothing has taken.
“Since 2017, we have been asking the District municipality to repair the pump and provide water to the people. At first, the municipality claimed that it was an electrical problem. Later changed and said the problem was the pit and pumps,”
“While waiting, in 2018 we had hope that they would fix the broken borehole, the municipality changed their story again and said the problem was electrical,” said Kgwadi.
He said he has raised concern with various officials including executive mayor, Stanley Ramaila, his ward councillor Maloke Makua, and manager customer care in the SDM, Lucy Nkabinde.
Currently residents have to walk and ascend huge hills to collect dirty water daily at a well known river Mapshikologane and borehole at Botseakobo.
He said attempt for temporary measure of getting water tanks have failed dismally, despite having numerous meetings with responsible officials at Apel.
“The SDM has completely failed to deliver water tanks to the community. Our request at Apel with Sekgobela was that they must transport water to refill JoJo tanks build for our section every week to enable the people to get water. But Sekgobela sent water delivery only once in 2019,” he explained.
He said they have elderly people who are forced to travel for about 4km every single day to fetch water.
Kgwadi adds “These people have to walk these long distances on a steep hill with buckets full on their heads.”
According to Kgwadi, last year, the SDM appointed a contractor to construct power line but it is not yet connected to the borehole.
“By looks of things the power line together with the borehole should be connected in order to pump water to the reservoir so that the people at Sefateng can get water,” he assumed.
He said he had again discussed the matter with Masehleng councillor who indicated that the SDM set aside R2 million which would be used for Masehleng borehole.
Councillor Makua said the district municipality would install water pumps to transport water from Nkadimeng Water Scheme which is about 25 km away from Sefateng section to Masehleng village.
Kgwadi said his ward councillor confirmed that the municipality has concluded to drill a new borehole about 5km away from Masehleng.
In response, Isaac Mahlakwane, acting mayoral spokesperson, said the SDM was aware of the water supply challenges in Sefateng section.
“The challenges are driven by the ultimate collapse of the old borehole that was providing water to the area. The municipality is in the process of appointing a contractor that will refurbish the borehole by mid April 2021,” said Mahlakwane.
“We have then sent our team of officials to assess the situation on the short term intervention for the people of Sefateng to drink water. The municipality is supplying water through water tanks to a storage tank bi-weekly,” he concluded.