No clean water for Giyani communities despite completion of water project

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Some of the 55 communities in and around Giyani are still waiting for clean drinking water, despite phase one of the Giyani Bulk Water Project being completed.

Several delays and infrastructural challenges beset the project, with only 24 villages currently benefiting. This is despite the Nsami Water Treatment Plant being full of water. It is part of the Giyani Bulk Water Project and a structural component of the R4.5 billion Nandoni Bulk Water Supply. Old and crumbling infrastructure such as underground pipes and reservoirs posed a major hurdle.

Residents from Muyexe and Dzingidzingi describe the water challenges in the area.

“There is no water yet here in my village. Some depend on underground water, some of us buy water from people with donkey carts. It is hard, we don’t have enough water. Sometimes we don’t wash clothes to save the little we have.”

The Mopani District Municipality is responsible for the second and final phase of the project. Spokesperson Odas Ngobeni says rolling blackouts have also been posing a challenge in the provision of water.

“There are some difficulties as and when we are busy with refurbishment, the water treatment is not working optimally – we are using a certain portion of the plant. Also because of load shedding we are only producing 9ml per day because the gemset is not working. We have also asked for exemption from Eskom but we have not received positive setback.”