Commercial farming giant, ZZ2 denies allegations of diverting water from local dam

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Giyani residents, in Limpopo are accusing commercial farming giant, ZZ2 of diverting water from the local Middle Letaba Dam to the farm.

The dam is the source of water for over 50 communities, livestock, and marine life in and around Giyani. The dam level has been at an all-time low since 2007 after ZZ2 erected walls in one of the rivers feeding the dam.

Residents have filed several complaints with the Department of Water and Sanitation to intervene, but without success.

Giyani community leader, Vusi Chauke says the diversion of water is affecting communities.

“This issue of ZZ2 started a long time ago in the early 2000s. It’s affecting the communities because the water that is supposed to be used by the community at large for livestock and consumption is used for irrigation upstream. We have raised the issue with the Department of water affairs and with the Minister Senzo Mchunu about the issue. They say they have started with the demolition of the dams, but we don’t have proof of that.” adds Chauke.

Meanwhile, the Giyani Bulk Water Project was launched in December 2022. It was initiated in 2014 to address severe water challenges in the transfer of water from Nandoni Dam to augment Nsami & Middle Letaba water systems. President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mchunu went to the Greater Giyani Local Municipality for an oversight visit to witness the launch of the Giyani Bulk Water project in December.

ZZ2 management has released a statement denying the allegations. The farm’s Water Resource Manager, Antonie van Staden also says politicians are using ZZ2 as a scapegoat for water challenges in Giyani.

She adds that the concerns over water shortages by residents are legitimate.