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‘Water infrastructure can’t supply demand’

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INLSA

Residents of Mothutlung carry water home from water trucks sent to the area. Photo: Oupa Mokoena

 

Brits - The Madibeng local municipality has admitted that the infrastructure in the area has aged and it is unable to cope with the high demand for water in Mothutlung, Brits.

Three people have died in a service delivery protest, which followed the interruption of the area’s water supply.

Two people were allegedly shot and killed by the police.

Another man, Lerato Seema, died in hospital on Wednesday after police allegedly threw him out of an Nyala vehicle on Tuesday.

Madibeng local municipality spokeswoman Lebogang Tsogang said they did not have enough reservoirs.

She said they had formally asked Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa to make funds available to build more reservoirs.

“The infrastructure has aged. It was built a long time ago and it was not designed to deal with such a huge population that we have in this municipality.”

Tsogang said the current interruption in the water supply that precipitated the violent service delivery protest was caused by a malfunction of a pump supplying the area.

“This pump, together with two other standby pumps, which also malfunctioned, will be reinstalled on Thursday evening. Therefore, normal supply is expected by Friday morning,” Tsogang said.

She also attributed the current interruption of the water supply in Mothutlung to the theft of pipes last month.

Tsogang said this had caused the pipeline to collapse and led to an interruption lasting about eight hours.

“The interruption experienced over the past few days is not primarily caused by the theft incident, but was certainly interrelated,” she added.

Residents said the frequent interruption of water supply in the area had made their lives difficult.

“The government must do everything in its power to solve this problem. We are suffering. As I’m talking to you, I’m thirsty, but I don’t have water to drink,” said Refilwe Letlape.

Another resident said the municipality had not even bothered to inform them what had caused the problem, until their protest.

“This can’t be right. Every time we want our voices to be heard, there must be service delivery protests first. Now people have died.

“How is the government going to undo this? People have died because they wanted water, a basic right,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating the death of Seema in Mothutlung.

Ipid said Seema, 27, had died at Job Shimankana Tabane Hospital in Rustenburg, allegedly due to head injuries.

 

The SAPS has opened an inquest docket.

However, Ipid has now taken over the investigation.

It has appealed to any witnesses to this and Monday’s incidents to contact the directorate by calling either its offices in Rustenburg on 014 591 8560, or Mr Molatedi on 072 494 6331.

solly.maphumulo@inl.co.za

The Star


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