Struggle for water makes life hard
MANTWA Modibedi from the Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality in Qwaqwa is forced to risk her and her family’s health by using dirty water from local dams.
That is if there is any as the shortage of water in the area reaches crisis levels.
The 56-year-old mother said the area has been without clean running water since 2011.
It took 45 minutes to walk to the dam and back for water, she added, which was hard for older people.
Last week, irate residents like Modibedi took to the streets to vent their anger, citing the lack of electricity and poor water supplies.
The protests turned violent as residents looted and vandalised shops, closed roads by burning tyres and placed huge rocks on them. A protester was killed and scores were injured.
also downed tools claiming their medical and other benefits were not paid. Maluti-a-Phofung owes the Department of Water and Sanitation more than R200 million, and Eskom R2.2 billion.
Residents have accused the mayor, Vusi Tshabalala, of corruption, alleging he misuses public funds and gives tenders to his friends and cronies. He did not respond to emails and sms’s.
Asked for comment, Maluti-aPhofung spokesperson Kedibone Sentle denied that Botjhabela has been without water since 2011.
She said the shortage was because the Free State was one of provinces hard hit by drought.
Sentle blamed ageing infrastructure, which she said the municipality was upgrading to accommodate the growing population.
Mantwa Modibedi at her unfinished RDP house.