Hope for clean water
Marite village outside Bushbuckridge has received a mobile water purification plant and three tractors and trailers in an effort to curb the outbreak of cholera in the area.
At least 22 of the victims who died from the disease that broke out in November last year came from the Bushbuckridge area. More than 1900 of the 6847 people treated for the disease were from the area.
"As the government we took a step that our people will get clean water to avoid cholera," said deputy Minister of Water Affairs Malusi Gigaba when he presented the R18,2million package at Madrass Stadium near Marite on Tuesday.
The Bushbuckridge municipality will use the tractors and trailers to remove refuse.
The mobile water purifier is able to pump water straight from the river before it is loaded into water tankers in case of a crisis.
"Why now? Please make sure the water does not go away after the elections because we have suffered a lot in this area," shouted Ntsako Mahumani, a girl among the protesters present.
The protesters vied with traditional dancers at the handover event.
They accused the government of handing over the plant to lure locals to vote for the ruling party.
Teenage girls, their mothers and siblings took to the dusty streets of Madrass with 20litre and 25litre upside-down water containers to prove to the deputy minister that they lacked clean water.
Many villages around Bushbuckridge still draw their water from polluted rivers and wells, or buy it from vendors who peddle it from the back of bakkies or donkey carts.