The community of Delareyville in the North West has been without water for four weeks. The water supply had been temporarily restored after residents of the small town had embarked on service delivery protests last month. The local authority is aware of the problem and says water pipes had been incorrectly installed in the area.

They say that fresh water, meant for the community, has been redirected to a nearby salt pan instead of the designated reservoir. Consumed by water woes, 55 year-old Keitheng Lebeko, like many in the farming community, battles day by day to collect water in town for her family of eight.

“We need water in our yards so we can just open a tap and have water. Now I cannot even manage to push this wheelbarrow to collect water in town. Our toilets also don’t flush. I mean how will I flush it without water?”

It is desperate times and the community is fed up. What irks them more is that the area has abundant water. “After the protests we got water and now we wondered why there is no water when we had water for four days after the protest, ” says community leader Fanie Nchncela.

North West Democratic Alliance’s Carin Visser says the water infrastructure in the province is dilapidating. “Everything is collapsing. The complete water infrastructure is collapsing at this stage, now behind me at the back is the reservoir. The one on the left hand side is built and there is not a drop of water in it, it is not used because there is no water, they know for a very long time for almost two years now that water is running through the storm water pipes into this pan and it is an alkaline pan.”

The local authority has blamed the water problems on vandalism, theft and shoddy work by contractors. “There was a service provider on site trying to install services in extension 8 in Tswaing Local Municipality but fortunately today the service provider is back on site, the community is at least giving support to the service provider,” says MEC for Local Government Fenny Gaolaolwe.

In the meantime the community of Delareyville will have to continue to toil without water.