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News - Date: 10 September 2017
Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 1478
The deputy director general in the office of the national Department of Water and Sanitation, Mr Aviva Manqa, said that his team would leave no stone unturned in their investigation to determine why the residents in the Hlanganani area have not been getting water, in spite of the numerous water reservoirs in the area.
Manqa visited the Hlanganani area on Thursday after the Waterval Community Forum had written letters to the Department of Water and Sanitation and the office of President Jacob Zuma, complaining about Vhembe District Municipality’s failure to provide water in the area.
During the visits to water pump stations and reservoirs, it was noticed that some pumps were not working and that some reservoirs were also not operational. Even the Valdezia reservoir that was completed in 2015 was not operational. In some cases, there were major leakages in main pipelines.
“At this stage we do not have much to say,” Manqa said. “But we are seriously disturbed and appalled to see and find out that pumps have remained unfixed for over six months. Whoever is responsible for reporting and getting the pumps fixed is doing an injustice to thirsty citizens.”
He told the entourage that punitive measures might be taken against those who were responsible for the non-availability of water to residents.
Waterval Community Forum represents the whole of Hlanganani area in terms of water issues. The forum’s representative, Mr Falaza Khoza, said that the Department of Water and Sanitation’s investigations were ongoing. “They will be visiting the area on 21-28 September, and they promised to not go back to their offices until they had made sure that taps were running,” he said. “We wanted the department and the Presidency to see that we have got no major problems, but mere negligence that causes devastating harm to residents.”
Njhakanjhaka Traditional Council’s chairperson, Mr Vicky Muvhali, said that they welcomed the Department of Water and Sanitation’s visit and inspections. “We look forward to the day when our area will sing a song of happiness and celebration in one voice, once they have got water,” he said.
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The granny in the picture says that she would have to spend more than R700 for water each month if she had to hire a bakkie. She rather uses her wheelbarrow to fetch water some three kilometres away.
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.