Residents of Giyani in Limpopo are blaming the biggest tomato farmer in the southern hemisphere for water shortages in the area.

The communities say ZZ2 farmer, Tommy van Zyl, has created dams in three rivers that supply water to the Middle Letaba dam.

The dam, which is supposed to supply water to more than 50 villages in the Giyani area, is almost dry with water levels at 10%.

Van Zyl was not available for comment.

The chairperson of Giyani Community Service Delivery Forum, Shumani Maringa says, “We have been complaining about this dam. Growing up this dam used to be so full. We never had problems with water. We noticed that the dam instead of getting full it is getting emptied. We realised that the dam is closed, where we realised that ZZ2 has closed the dam, has closed the streams coming from Mooketsi to fill the dam. All the dams are filled, this is the only dam that is not filled.”

The water authority in the Mopani District Municipality says it is awaiting a report from the Water Affairs Department on the investigation into the dam.

District municipality spokesperson Odas Ngobeni says the report is expected in the first week of next month.

The video from February 2020 reports that more than 50 villages around Giyani are still without clean drinking water