THERE can be no tolerance for Limpopo's BaPhalaborwa municipality's decision to cut the supply of water to schools in two communities because the schools owe it for rates and services.
The decision is particularly shocking when one considers that, according to President Jacob Zuma, national and provincial government departments currently owe municipalities R53 million for services.
We will never promote the culture of non-payment of services provided by any sphere of government. If indeed the department gave the schools money to pay for these services, then those in charge of those schools must be taken to task.
To cut off the supply of water, causing the effective closure of the schools, is to go for the softest target. If the council believes it has a case, let it then sue the education department.
Noticeably silent in the whole matter are the ruling party in the local municipality and the MEC for education in the province.
Their nonchalance suggests that they see nothing wrong with children in their community and province being denied the one tool that can help them escape the cycle of poverty.
We are not impressed with education department spokesperson Ndo Mongala's empty words that they will investigate.
Exams are around the corner and we know that government agencies tend to use "investigating" as the easiest way to avoid dealing with pressing issues.
We call on the council to restore water to those schools now. It can deal with the inefficient technocrats or politicians in its own time.