Gauteng and NW Province

Government addressing water problems in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality

25 Sep 2012

The MEC for the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Madala Masuku has responded to a legislature question about the debt owed to the Bushbuckridge Water Board by Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.

The amount owed to the water utility is ± R260 Million and this has led to water supply challenges in some areas within the Bushbuckridge area. The affected villages are in Lillydale, Casteel, Arcornhoek and Hluvukani.

The debt has accumulated over a period of time, due to disagreements between the municipality and the Water Board over the amounts and the low payment rate by the communities. The Municipality has already began paying the debt and has entered into a service level agreement with the Water Board where in the Municipality started paying R5 million a month over and above the normal monthly tariff in an attempt to reduce or settle the alleged debt while the two institutions are working together towards reconciling their differences.

The water challenges in Bushbuckridge are historical and are common to most poverty pockets of the province that emerged from the former homeland governments. These challenges are as a result of apartheid spatial planning patterns, where communities were settled on what was designed as farms without changing their land use.

These unrecognised human settlements have high population density and weak infrastructure to deliver basic services. The available infrastructure was mostly prioritised for agriculture purposes and the system has since been overburdened by the growing human settlements and demand for water consumption.

Government has introduced a number of interventions to assist alleviate the water problem in Bushbuckridge such as:
• Construction of the Inyaka Dam at a cost of R1 billion
• A pipeline was constructed from Inyaka Dam to Acornhoek at a cost of R117 million
• Hoxane water scheme was extended to 45ML/day at a cost of R70,46 million
• Pipelines have been constructed between Hoxane and Lillydale at a cost of R44,08
• Sewerage facilities being upgraded as part of extending the existing schemes at a cost of R29,45 million.

In areas where water supply remains a challenge the municipality is supplying the affected communities with water using water tankers as an interim measure.

Illegal connections to the main line, vandalism and theft of transformers contribute significantly to the difficulty of supplying water to some areas in Bushbuckridge. The department would like to call upon all residents of Bushbuckridge to guard against the theft of transformers and vandalism of infrastructure.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Water Affairs and the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality are working closely to address the water problems in the municipality.

South African Government Inormation

I wish the municipalities would encourage rainwater harvesting. It can solve so many water problems and will not end up costing the taxpayers so much money! If the reservoirs are overflowing and the people STILL have no water is that not reason enough to protest? How would YOU feel if you had no water but you see reservoirs overflowing? Even in urban development rainwater harvesting is becoming an alternative method to municipal supply, water tanks are a common sight nowadays, yet these people are still without water …..

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