This picture of a waste bin taken on October 4 in the city centre in Polokwane reflects one of the many service delivery challenges facing residents in area Picture: Ntombi Nkosi
This picture of a waste bin taken on October 4 in the city centre in Polokwane reflects one of the many service delivery challenges facing residents in area Picture: Ntombi Nkosi

Water shortages plague Polokwane, residents blame government

By Ntombi Nkosi, Oupa Mokoena Time of article published Oct 4, 2021

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Polokwane - City of Polokwane residents are fed up at continued water shortages in the city and are demanding better service delivery from the local municipality.

Resident Tanya Van Der Walt from Flora Park said they are unhappy with the municipality for its failure to deliver vital services such as water.

“Water is a tough situation, usually it is hard to get water because we have water shortage. We end up buying water although we pay municipal services,” Van der Walt told the IOL News team during an interview in the streets of the CBD on Monday.

Some of the residents who sought to comment on the water challenges asked not to be named.

An anonymous informal trader from Seshego Extension 75 said she resides alone but her water bill is over R30 000.

She asked what could be the reason since she is never home during the day and sells her scones in the CBD.

"The ANC expects us to vote into power while we don’t have water and we are hungry. How do they expect us to vote for them while the billing system is wrong,“ asked the woman.

She added: “I am not going to vote. I don’t have water. My bill is R35 000. To prevent covid-19 we were advised to wash our hands yet we don’t have water.”

The woman said the trucks organized by the municipality to bring them water do not reach their area.

“We buy water from locals with boreholes, we pay R5 for 5 litres and when you don’t have money you can’t get water. The day that the ANC will hold my hand and say here is a job, will be the day I vote. They come house to house asking us to vote for them... God is in charge not the ANC, they are thieves. My vote is very important, they will not get it,” she said.

Another woman raised concern about water shortage.

“I am currently working as a cleaner earning R2 500 but I am expected to take care of my children, buy electricity and now water from those who have boreholes. If you don't work, you can’t survive. We pay R270 to fill our JoJo tanks. Electricity is also expensive. A voucher for R50 only lasts for a week,” she said.

Both the women said they feared to be recorded saying they didn’t want to be intimidated.

Another woman from Moletjie Motinti village, a breadwinner of the family of seven, said she survives with her salary of R2 500 and social grant money for her two grandchildren.

“My two biggest problems are water issue and youth unemployment. I have two daughters who are graduates but they are not working. This is painful for us, everything is expensive. I’m going to give another political party a chance in the upcoming local government elections. Maybe things can change and life will improve for us,” she said.

While the IOL News team was interacting with locals on Biccard street not far from Capricorn District Municipality, a bakkie parked next to a waste bin spilling over with dirt, dumped a large heap of rubble in the bin.

Not far from the waste bin, two street barbers said they were not happy operating next to waste but were hopeful that the municipal collectors would collect it soon.

“I am happy that I earn a living. I don’t pay much attention to politics. We are not impressed to be working next to so much dirt but we hope they will clean up soon,” said one barber.

Though there is a new mayor in town, many residents said they were not aware.

John Mpe was elected and sworn in as Polokwane mayor on September 3.

Mpe replaces Thembi Nkadimeng who resigned last month after her appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa as Deputy Minister of Co-operative and Traditional Affairs.

Political Bureau

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