The Nkomazi Local Municipality in Malalane in Mpumalanga is constructing three new water treatment plants aimed at addressing the challenge of water supply in the area. The projects are under way at Driekoppies, Sibange and Kamaqekeza in Block C. The municipality confirmed that the total cost of the projects amounts to R600 million.

Nkomazi Local Municipality sitting in Malalane, is one of the rural municipalities that are faced with the challenge of water supply.

Residents have protested several times demanding water supply. In an attempt to resolve the problem and improve service delivery, the municipality is constructing the three-water-treatment plants.

Upon completion, the projects will supply water to a number of villages within the Nkomazi Local Municipality.

Residents have welcomed the projects.

The municipality started to prioritise the supply of piped water to all households in 2001. However, it has been difficult to supply water to all villages due to the ongoing establishment of new villages in the municipality.

Spokesperson for the municipality Cyril Repinga says, “We got the Driekoppies water project that is RIBIC … it’s one of the biggest projects in Nkomazi that will cater about eleven villages. We have got Sibange Project that is also a RIBIC that will cater to about nine villages and we also have the Block C project that will cater to about eight villages. So, we are a bit grateful for what is taking place now at the moment. We are going to be spending about R600 million.”

Repinga says the municipality will continue to strive to deliver services to all residents.

“The challenge is that some of these traditional houses, there is a conflict. When there’s that confusion within the royal kraal then they start to sell stands and start to sell land to people. That becomes a problem. The other challenge is that we are bordering two countries. There’s always an influx of people from Swaziland and Mozambique into the municipality and that is another challenge we are faced with. You cannot chase away those people.”

Meanwhile, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has urged residents to refrain from establishing settlements illegally.

Contralesa President Kgoshi Lameck Mokoena says, “We are discouraging people occupying land without being allocated properly by either the traditional leadership or the municipality. The danger, thereof, people would occupy the land the very same place you would find that it is not included in the IDP of the municipality.”

Nkomazi Local Municipality says it continues to engage with traditional leaders to stop giving people stands before engaging with the municipality.