Brits - Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Tuesday promised residents of Mothutlung near Brits, North West, water before the weekend.
“Water will be back by Friday,” she told residents. She was there with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa after visiting the families of two men killed during violent protests in the township on Monday.
Police allegedly shot the two while they were en route to the Madibeng municipality with other residents to demand water. Beeld newspaper named them as mineworker Osia Rahube and a photographer known only as Bra Mike.
Molewa said three local water pumps in the area broke down, which she said was a “very strange problem”.
According to Molewa, under normal circumstances, when one of the pumps failed the remaining two were supposed to keep operating.
The same problem had been seen in three other areas. She promised to investigate and punish anyone found to be at fault.
“We will not rest until we find out what happened.”
The area had been without running water for three months and water tankers arrived every three days.
In the meantime water tanks would be used to supply residents. Residents were however not happy to hear that, and told her of alleged corruption in the appointment of the contractor to supply water tanks. She promised to assign Magalies Water to deliver water.
Mthethwa promised residents that his office would investigate the shooting. He said their interaction with families and eyewitnesses had shed some light on the incident.
He urged others with information to help the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) with its investigations.
“If people don't co-operate and give this information to Ipid, we won't know what happened.”
Mthethwa added that residents should speak to police about the alleged corruption.
Earlier in the day, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema promised to lend residents his support.
“We must arrange a proper march to Madibeng municipality and I will be there,” he told locals at a sports field.
He said it was the community's right to have water and he blamed the situation on poor administration.
“While the water was still under Magalies, there were no such problems,” he said.