The North West Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs says it has secured R40 million from local mining companies to help address water shortages in several villages, including Maumong near Rustenburg.

Residents in the villages say they have been struggling to get access to clean drinking water for more than a decade.

A task team has been appointed to investigate the water-related challenges in the affected villages.

These reservoirs were built 10 years ago to provide water to Maumong village, but they have not served their intended purpose. Taps are still dry and access to water is a daily struggle.

Community Representative Griffis Mntande says: “We got ten years without water and there is a pipe that supplies Maumong and other surrounding villages with water and those villages have water but here in our village we do not have water. We reported the matter to the municipality, but they are not assisting us.”

Maumong village has been endowed with huge mineral reserves, as have other villages around Rustenburg.

Villagers are disappointed that they are not benefitting from the activities of local mining operations.

Maumong Villagers say: “Unemployment is extremely high in our community because every year there are students who complete their studies then they become jobless.

We do not benefit anything from the quarries because the roads are damaged due to their heavy truck that are passing in our village.”

The authorities say a plan has been devised to turn the tide. Mining companies have pledged R40 Million to boost government’s efforts to solve the water problems.

Cooperative Governance MEC Mmoloki Cwaile says: “We agreed that the municipalities must make water immediately available, mobile temporary supply of water, but you would know that at Makolokwe, there are no boreholes under-ground.

We have agreed that Rustenburg would immediately start to establish boreholes there. In Bethanie, and other areas, they are going to rehabilitate the existing boreholes there. mines have made available, also their own boreholes.

Cwaile says illegal connections also contribute to water supply challenges, where infrastructure is available.