Anxiety for QwaQwa residents at water tank delay

Yesterday, some of the residents complained that trucks carrying water tanks had not arrived.
Yesterday, some of the residents complained that trucks carrying water tanks had not arrived.
Image: Health MEC Bandile Masuku via Twitter \ File

The department of water and sanitation has asked residents of QwaQwa to be patient as it tries to deliver water to the community.

Yesterday, some of the residents complained that trucks carrying water tanks had not arrived, seven days after government's commitment.

Water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu promised that government would provide 5000 water tanks to the Maluti-A-Phofung municipality in seven days.

Sisulu had visited the area due to protests over water.

Some of the residents told Sowetan that very little had changed since Sisulu's announcement.

"There is no water in our area. There is no water running in our taps and we are yet to see those Jojo tanks," said Morwesi Moloi of Mandela Park in QwaQwa.

But spokesperson for the department, Sputnik Ratau, said government had started with its intervention programme.

"We only started with the delivery process yesterday. Not all the trucks have arrived. Yesterday only five arrived. You must remember that we have to procure these things. Obviously, Sedibeng [Water] had to do all the legal processes such as the contracts, which they finalised on Friday. The trucks only started arriving yesterday," Ratau said.

"The delivery was never going to be all at once. We had to procure those trucks and they have to be branded so that they are identifiable to the public as government vehicles.

"All of those things are happening incrementally. People have to be patient. We don't want to flout legislation as we try to deliver water to the community."

QwaQwa was shut down about two weeks ago by residents who were tired of living without water. Maluti-A-Phofung, which is under administration, provided Jojo tanks as part of its relief efforts. However, these were not enough to cover the entire municipal area. The protest was fuelled by the death of seven-year-old Mosa Mbele, who died while fetching water from a river.

Sisulu met residents and outlined a plan that included the ring-fencing of R220m to address the immediate problem, in addition to the R280m allocated to Sedibeng Water, which will take over responsibility of delivering the water.

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