Risking lives for water
RESIDENTS of Dipateng village in Botlokwa, Limpopo, risk their lives on a daily basis when they cross the busy N1 pushing wheelbarrows in search of water.
This has been going on for more than two years. They have to fetch water from Sefene village across the N1.
The situation has become so desperate that some villagers buy water from a nearby Muslim church, where a 200-litre container costs R25. The water is sourced from a borehole.
The area falls under the Capricorn district municipality, which had installed pipes in two phases in the village but water has still to be provided for the villagers.
A huge tank installed to provide water to the area has not helped as it is empty.
Of grave concern is that some of those who are forced to risk their lives are elderly people. The road is also the gateway to Africa, which connects South Africa with other African countries through Zimbabwe.
Concerned resident Vusi Ramusi told Sowetan of the hardships they have had to endure as a result of the lack of water.
He attributed the problem to a lack of leadership from a local councillor.
"The councillor assigned to this place does not have the interest of the people at heart. He has demonstrated that by allowing such a long time to pass without residents getting water," Ramusi said yesterday.
He said in the past there had been a tap providing water to the villagers. Since the installation of the pipes two years ago the tap was mysteriously broken.
"We feel we are being taken for a ride because each time we approach elections water comes to us in bulk but soon thereafter it's back to square one," he said.
Council spokesman Moffat Senyatsi acknowledged yesterday that there was a backlog of water supply in those areas.
"Our main priority in the next financial year will be th e communities who have had no water over the past year or so," he said.
"The new budget, staring in July, will accommodate that."