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Millions earmarked for Bloemhof water

Rustenburg - North West has set aside R20 million to deal with the water crisis in Bloemhof, the provincial government said on Monday.

Spokesman Sam Mokaila said premier Supra Mahumapelo made the announcement to Boitumelong township residents on Sunday.

A boy looks at water in a bucket after water supply was restored in Boitumelong township in Bloemhof, North West. File photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA. Credit: Sapa

“An agreement was reached between us and Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane that the required amount (R20m) will be put aside to solve the water problem,” Mahumapelo told the residents.

Since May 25, over 500 cases of diarrhoea have been recorded at health care facilities in Bloemhof, which falls under the Lekwa-Teemane municipality.

Three babies, aged between seven and 13 months, died in Bloemhof as a result of drinking contaminated tap water.

The contamination was reportedly caused by sewage spilling into the Vaal River which supplies water to the area. Scores of people were hospitalised.

The national water affairs department said on Friday the system had been cleaned and sanitised, and water supply had been restored.

On Monday, Lekwa-Teemane mayor Moeder Makodi was removed from office.

Mahumapelo said the move was part of an African National Congress intervention to stabilise the municipality.

Last week, municipal manager Andrew Makwapane resigned a few days after being suspended. This followed a meeting by provincial and municipal leaders.

A joint task team was set up to look into the municipality's ailing infrastructure, governance, and administrative problems, and the sewage spill.

Sapa

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