Johannesburg -

A farmer who allegedly had a water valve closed was to blame for problems with the water supply in Swartruggens and the Borolelo township on Sunday, said North West Premier Thandi Modise.

“It is alleged that the farmer, accompanied by a police officer, instructed the operator on site not to pump water to allow water to reach his animals downstream.”

She said that she was still awaiting a written report on the incident.

“We appeal to our communities not to be provoked to anger by this supposed act of sabotage and racism that need to be thoroughly investigated.”

Earlier, the premier's spokesman, Lesiba Kgwele, said that water has been restored in Mothotlung, near Brits, following protests which turned deadly this week.

Two protesters were shot dead, allegedly by police, on Monday during a service-delivery protest.

Another man died after he allegedly fell out of a moving Nyala police vehicle in a bid to escape.

Residents of Mothotlung had apparently been without water for about two weeks.

Meanwhile, Agang SA reported on Sunday that the Jericho community in the Madibeng municipality had been without water since last year.

The party's co-ordinator, Victor Molefe, said that residents were dependent on the bulk water system for water supply.

Kgwele said interventions were in place to address the water shortage in the area and the area had been prioritised.

He said that areas including Swartruggens, Borolelo, Derby, Koster, Reagile and Mazista would benefit from the implementation of planned water supply projects. - Sapa