Team set up to investigate R143m drought relief in Moutse

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has set up a team to investigate a report on the R143 million drought relief project, which was meant to address water supply challenges in Moutse in the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality, Limpopo.

In 2020, the Department of Water and Sanitation set aside a budget to address the water shortage in the area due to drought.

The funds administered by Lepelle Northern Water, as the implementing agent, were meant to supply and deliver water tankers and tanks in the villages of Moutse, and to develop and refurbish boreholes in order to ensure water security for the residents within the Sekhukhune District Municipality.

According to the report presented by Lepelle Northern Water during a recent community engagement hosted by Mchunu, 30 boreholes were drilled and refurbished, with 20 of them operational, as part of the drought relief programme.

A total of 1 800 water tanks were also installed, with 20 tankers procured to deliver water to communities.

However, members of the community disputed the report presented by Lepelle Northern Water and voiced a number of concerns ranging from corruption to non-functionality of the infrastructure that is meant to provide water to them.

Mchunu acknowledged the concerns and complaints raised by the community pertaining to the report, and later set up a team to follow-up and investigate the contents of the report.

The team will include the Chief of Staff from the Office of the Minister, Sikhumbuzo Zondo; Limpopo Provincial Head, Lucy Kobe, and the Mayors of Sekhukhune and Elias Motsoaledi.

Mchunu said he expects the team to keep him in the loop about the progress of investigation.

He also called on local leadership to ensure constant engagement with the communities they serve.

“It is clear to me that communities are not updated on the projects and programmes currently underway to address water supply challenges in their area. There is a need for frequent engagement with residents and they should be kept informed on what is being done to bring water to their area.

“We have noted with concern a feeling of resentment from community members in Moutse about the delivery of water, but we are hard at work, and we intend to provide the much-awaited water to the communities of Moutse,” Mchunu said.

The community engagement followed Mchunu’s visit together with Deputy Minister David Mahlobo and former Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi to the Loskop Regional Bulk Water Supply Project, a trans-boundary water project between Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces that is under construction along the Elias Motsoaledi and Thembisile Hani Local Municipalities.

The project is expected to abstract water from the Loskop Dam and supply water to 21 villages under Thembisile Hani Municipality in Mpumalanga, and eight villages in Moutse-East in Limpopo, upon its completion. –

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