R121m bulk pipeline to serve 95 Bushbuckridge villages

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Masoka Dube

Bushbuckridge - A R121 million bulk pipeline aimed at supplying water to residents of the Bushbuckridge local municipality in Mpumalanga was launched on Monday.

The Acornhoek Bulk Pipeline was launched during a sod-turning ceremony led by officials from the department of water and environmental affairs (DWEA) and Premier David Mabuza at Shatale township in Bushbuckridge.

"The Acornhoek pipeline stretches for about 28km and will distribute clean and treated water from the Inyaka Dam for human consumption. After being completed, the pipeline will ensure water supply to about 95 villages within the Bushbuckridge area," said regional spokesman for DWEA Themba Khoza.

He said the pipeline would be completed next year and it will bring a lasting solution to water challenges in the Bushbuckridge local municipality.

Thousands of villagers currently risk contracting diseases because they drink water from dodgy wells and streams.

Vusi Mlambo, 30, from Acornhoek said the installation of the pipeline would be helpful because they were currently struggling to get clean water.

"We have been living on water from the wells, which is very dangerous because we can simply contract diseases," he said.

Mpumalanga independent water analyst, Victor Mashego, commended the launch of the project, but cautioned communities to take care of the infrastructure.

"It is a good thing to know that our people will finally get clean water. So, they must also make sure that they pay for the bills because it will help in paying other services like cleaning the water," said Mashego.

Mashego also urged the government to finalise its plans to urgently build a water purification laboratory in nearby Hazyview.

This year's Green Drop report gave the Bushbuckridge local municipality only 28,5% for the quality of its waste water management, while the Blue Drop report, which measures the quality of drinking water, gave the municipality 29.89%.

The municipality serves a population of one million people and, according to the report, its treatment plants are putting residents in danger.

"Six of eight water treatment plants have moved into high and critical risk positions holding a significant risk to public health and the environment," warns the report.

Bushbuckridge local municipality spokesperson Matome Malatjie was not immediately available for comment as his cellphone ran unanswered.

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