Two multimillion rand water projects in Limpopo’s Vhembe District Municipality have not been working since they were completed.

Residents say the R12 million water project in Nthabalala, which was completed in 2014, does not supply them with water as the well does not have sufficient water. After its completion, it was found that mud was coming out of the well instead of water.

The municipality then constructed another project at Mulima at a cost of R25 million. Two boreholes were drilled and two reservoirs constructed with the intention of connecting them to the mainline water pipe of the failed project at Nthabalala. The attempt to connect the two failed because the water pipes which were laid in 2012 are already damaged.

The projects were intended to provide water to about 10 villages in Nthabalala and Mulima. They include Masethe, Manyima, Ha-Maduwa, Pfanani and Lambani.
One residents says the water pipes burst when the new project was tested for handing over.
“The project was supposed to be finished early last March. The contractor was not given money to do the reticulation, he was supposed to be given money that’s why the contractor decided to pack up and go back to another project. Many projects came here but all is in vain we don’t have water, all the projects are not working. There is still no water. There’s a water project, but there’s no development in this water projects.”
Member of the steering committee, Willy Mashau, says the projects failed as a result of poor workmanship.
“First project fails in the sense that there was no source of water so they continued laying the pipes. After they completed the project, they realized that there’s a problem of source, unfortunately, when they tried to pump water to the pipes, the pipes burst because there was no proper connection of the pipes.”

Meanwhile, the Vhembe district municipality’s spokesperson, Matodzi Ralushai, says they have identified defects in the projects and their technical department will resolve them.

“When the district municipality implemented Mulima-Lithande-Lambani the Pfanani Water Supply Project they also experience water source challenge which also contributes to the challenge that we are facing where we are not able to provide water to our communities. We have identified the problems which allows us to go to the community, we have engagements this week, we acknowledge that there’s a challenge in that area.”

In the meantime, residents of Pfananani village in the Mulima tribal authority contribute R5 per household to maintain a borehole which was drilled in the village two decades ago.