Residents of Mazista in the North West plead for water from the municipality

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Residents of Mazista near Swartreggens in the North West are pleading for water from their local Kgetlengrevier Local Municipality. Residents say they have been struggling with water shortage for the past 11 years. Although three reservoirs have been built in the area by the local municipality to this day, they are not providing any water to the community.

Mazista township has over 500 households.

A local nearby farmer is now providing residents with water at no costs.

Despite this help, there is also water tankering, which residents say is insufficient and unreliable.

“As you see this water roll of mine, I just fetched water from that the farm because we’re struggling here,” a resident says.

“We need running water. The problem with trucks, we don’t even use truck water. We just use them to flush toilets,” says another resident.

“We use sewage system therefore, we need running water. It’s our basic right,” explains another resident.

Residents say the shortage of water in their area is a daily struggle.

“We don’t have water. We got borehole, you can see them behind me there. They’re all empty. Not even a drop. We don’t know what the problem is regarding water. For the past 11 years, we’ve been staying here (and) we’ve never had water,” says Community representative, Ellof Motsheare.

The municipality has acknowledged the challenge of water shortage and its provision to the community but plans are afoot to assist the Mazista community.

“As a municipality, we acknowledged challenges that we are having in the provision of water within our Mazista area. The reason why we are not in a position to provide water scheduled is that the boreholes that we’re having there have since remained dry as the water level has since dropped. We have since requested Magalies to conduct the geo-hydro tests just to confirm the water level for us. We are in the process of drawing up a business plan to construct a 15-kilometre pipeline from the Swaartregens waterworks to Mazista. In the meantime, we are using water tankers to provide the community of Mazista with water,” says Kgetleng Rivier Local Municipal Manager, Joseph Mogale.

Meanwhile, Kgetlengrevier Ratepayers Association, which was previously granted a court order to run municipality sewage and water plants in 2021, says the shortage of water has worsened.

The authority to run the plants was restored to the municipality, after committing to appoint a water board to administer them.

“Things are going bad now. There’s no water available in Koster for a long period of time and the excuse from the municipality is load shedding, but the load shedding is here for about a month or two now. But the dilapidation of the water plants in Koster is inevitable and it’s in a poor condition and I think that within a couple of weeks or months, there will be no water available because that is a big problem,” Chairperson of the Association, Karel Van Heerden explains.

Ratepayers Association says they will approach the North West High Court next month to force the municipality to hand over the water plant to them for management.