Water and Sanitation Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, wants to implement a new water project in the drought-stricken Giyani area of Limpopo. This comes on top of billions of rands spent on other incomplete projects.
The multi-billion rand Nandoni project to supply water to Nsami dam in Giyani has stalled and is subject to court processes.
Millions of rands have also been spent on drilling more than 150 boreholes which are also not functioning. Now, Minister Nkwinti wants to start a project to draw water from the dry streams under the sand.
The Giyani area has been declared a disaster area by the former Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Millions of rands were poured to arrest the problem but it still prevails.
A mega project to draw water from the Nandoni dam was started more than five years ago but remains incomplete. Boreholes were drilled and still there is no water.
The Nandoni project is subject to court processes. Minister Nkwinti says investigations into the alleged corruption in the project are at an advanced stage.
“The matter of this project you’re talking about is under investigation by the SIU. I have already signed four proclamations for investigations I have not even finished a year here including Khathu Civils, including LTE South Zambesi; they’re under investigations. If there’s something wrong that is found by the SIU, we might have to ask them to pay the money back. They’re not guilty yet but there’s a cause for investigation.”
Minister Nkwinti says there are companies willing to test if there’s water under the sand in the dry streams in the Giyani areas. He says there are similar projects elsewhere in the country.
“We want those who said we can test water from under the sand, they said there’re sand rivers here you can draw water from that in Free State this is what we’re doing in Ficksburg for example in Eastern Cape they said they’re doing it in Sterkspruit, we would like to test this in Limpopo in Giyani , we want that to be done as soon as yesterday because people don’t have water.”
The companies will also use solar energy to pump water from the 154 boreholes which have been drilled in the area. “This hydro foam one is a low hanging fruit because there’re 154 boreholes that have been done here of course they have been vandalized. We want them to test if they can use solar technology to test if water is available underground. If the water is there we can draw the water and distribute it to the people now, it doesn’t stop the big projects which is going on and stall now going on stall where there’re investigations I referred to earlier on,” says Minister Nkwinti.
Meanwhile, Mopani District Executive Mayor, Nkakareng Rakgoale says the plans to draw water from the Blyde River are almost complete. “We’re ready to draw water from Blyde River as far as we’re concerned although there touch ups particularly in terms of the technical aspects in terms of the project itself Mametja Sekororo but I can tell you sitting here that it is 90 percent complete which means at any time we can be able to draw water.”
Minister Nkwinti has promised to visit the area in the next two weeks to check the progress made.