Residents forced to draw from dirty dams
THE water supply problems in Mpumalanga have hit some areas hard, forcing residents to sometimes even draw water from snake-infested sources.
Hundreds of residents in Bushbuckridge said sometimes they went for up to four weeks without clean water.
Last week, residents said the last time they had clean water from the municipality was three weeks ago.
There are water tanks in the area, but these are not filled every day. Happiness Shabangu, 32, from Cunningmoore, said she was aware of the dangers of drawing water from the dam, but she did not have a choice.
"We have not had water for weeks. This is the third day I come here (to the dam) to draw water. The water is dirty, but we do not have another option.
"I use the water for washing and bathing. The laundry does not get clean at all. We risk our health by using the water to bathe."
Leina Makofane, 40, said she had walked about 30km to get water from a borehole in Oakley.
"We are suffering. Who can live without water? Sometimes I am forced to go back home with empty buckets and there are no guarantees that I will get some water the next day.
"I will continue voting because if I do not vote, I will loose my social grant money. I hope our situation will change soon," said Makofane. Another resident, Bongani Hlatshwayo, said the water coming from the taps was salty and they could not cook with it. "My children get a rash because we use it to bathe," Hlatshwayo said.
Last week, MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Madala Masuku said the Bushbuckridge local municipality owed R260-million to the water board.
- This article was first published in the printed newspaper on 8 October 2012