'We thank virus for water', say grateful Mpumalanga community

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and deputy minister of water and sanitation David Mahlobo try out running water from a new tap in a community in White River. /MANDLA KHOZA
Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and deputy minister of water and sanitation David Mahlobo try out running water from a new tap in a community in White River. /MANDLA KHOZA

The communities of Jerusalem and Mshandza in White River, Mpumalanga, yesterday said they are thankful to the coronavirus, as a result of which they finally have clean water.

This after deputy minister of human settlements, water and sanitation David Mahlobo and Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane handed over six boreholes and six 10,000l water tanks to the residents.

Mahlobo said the delivery of water was to make sure that the public could better adhere to the health precautions and curb the spread of Covid-19.

Community members told Sowetan that they only had one communal tap which was about 1km from their houses.

"We thank the coronavirus for this," community member Smith Malumane said.

"Though they (government) had promised us water a long time ago, but now that we have this virus we see fast delivery.

"Now we have water about 500m from each house, in a space of a week," Malumane said.

In total, 440 water tanks and 26 trucks were handed over to various Mpumalanga communities.

"We are now handing over this infrastructure to the Mbombela municipality and the province of Mpumalanga to be safeguarded," Mahlobo said.

Mtshweni-Tsipane asked the community to protect the water assets beyond the coronavirus period.

"Please take care of them; don't steal the tanks," she said.

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