20000 households have no water

Elisha Molefe

Itsoseng township and four surrounding villages have had no water for more than a month.

And it seems that the problem will continue into the new year for the more than 20000 households in this Lichtenburg, North West, township.

While the community vents its anger at Ditsobotla Municipality, this authority blames its water supplier, Botshelo Water Supply.

Yesterday, residents from Itsoseng and villagers from Bodibe, Verdwaal and Sheila converged on Reitumetse Primary School in an effort to mount the campaign to restore water to the area.

Councillor Dodo Dila appealed for calm when anti-ANC speeches where made. He said people should refrain from blaming the government because it inherited the problems from the previous regime.

Dila said: "Our democracy is still young and people must not expect us do things overnight."

He said the government was trying to solve the problem, but at least R30 million was needed to build a new dam, which could only be achieved in the next financial year.

In the meantime, the municipality is considering buying 20 plastic water tanks.

Itsoseng resident Maria Moreosele was not impressed with Dila's explanation.

She said that life today was no better than under apartheid.

"At least during Mangope's reign, we knew where to complain, but now it is another story."

She said municipal workers regularly took water meter readings, although there was no water.

"It's daylight robbery, but we can do nothing about it."

Moshe Sedike, provincial secretary of the South African Municipal Workers Union, said it was absurd that water services were administered by both the water board and the municipality.

"Water boards are corrupt, incompetent and unaccountable to communities, and nepotism is rife," said Sedike.