A FORMER ward councillor in the greater Tzaneen municipality and now a thriving businessman has been accused of pocketing R4million meant for the supply of water in Bolobedu South.
Mack Makete, a councillor in the former Tzaneen local council after the first democratic elections in 1994, has been singled out by the present councillor, Masilo Maloko, as being directly responsible for the shortage of water in more than 15 villages in Limpopo.
"He was awarded the tender by the Mopani municipality (in 2006) to supply water to Tokone, Marirone, Khebabane, Khetone, Kgwekgwe, Moleketla, Relela, Morutji, Mphatakhidiba and others with a population of not fewer than 25000 people," said a visibly annoyed Maloko yesterday.
"But to date not even a drop of water flows out of the taps.
"Instead of correcting the situation, he brags around the villages about how wealthy he is."
Maloko said it was time Makete told the community how he had spent the money and when they would be provided with water.
Maloko said Makete used a huge chunk of the tender to build himself "an empire in Mopje" where he lives - and to buy himself expensive cars.
"Now these communities, who were supposed to benefit from the R4million project, are protesting against the current leadership," he said.
Contacted by Sowetan, Makete said Maloko was dodging his own responsibilities by fabricating "baseless lies".
Makete confirmed that his company, Makete Civil Engineers, was awarded the tender, but said his company was only expected to connect booster pumps at the pump station.
"Shortage of water in the area is a result of the municipality not opening the water to the villagers and not because my project failed."
Meanwhile, villagers in the area have resorted to the old ways of providing water - using fountains and river water which they boil for their household needs.