Some businesses and residents in Polokwane, Limpopo, are experiencing serious water shortages. In some of the affected facilities such as Early Childhood Development Centres taps have run dry.
The municipal authorities and Lepelle Northern Water attribute the problem to Eskom’s load-shedding.
Water shortages have plagued the area for several weeks.
Businesses say they have to find alternative means to survive.
An Early Childhood Development Centre has resorted to using buckets and other containers to store water.
The centre is currently struggling to raise money to drill a borehole to avert relying on municipal water supply. The owner of one of the centres in Polokwane says the taps have been running dry for many months now.
Manager of Kids Kingdom pre-school, Bianca Kotze, says they have 65 kids in their facility.
Kotze says they have not had water for months.
“We have not had water for five months. It is very hard to keep the creche operational, as we require high levels of hygiene.”
Some other businesses in town say the water cuts are negatively affecting their businesses and hygiene. The business people say they have to devise alternative means to survive.
“Hygien is very important when it comes to kids. So, we have baby classes where we have to sterilize the bottles, they have to drink water and all of that. So, it’s affecting us a lot in terms of the bathrooms because they go to the toilet quite a lot, and then we have to flush. You have to keep it hygienic. Ee have to talk to the parents and ask them maybe via WhatsApp, you know, individually and then tell them about, you know, we are having water problems here school, so please can you at least maybe get five litres for us, they can also help your child to clean water, because, for us, the children come first.”
Lepelle Northern Water Board Chairperson, Nndweleni Mphephu, says they are pumping water to the Polokwane municipality as per their service level agreement.
But, Mphephu insists that the water crisis is caused by the high demand that exceeds supply.
“Lepelle northern water is supplying 59 mega litres per day to Polokwane municipality as per the service level agreement. However, we do know that the demand for water far exceeds the water supply. And that’s the issue that we are dealing with. Hence we have got a project which is starting now for the refurbishment project, which will ensure that it will address the issue of demand and supply where we will be able to meet the current demand in Polokwane.”
In response, Polokwane Municipality Executive Mayor, John Mpe, says they have set up a task team to address the challenges.
Mpe also bemoans the impact of load-shedding.
“We had a task team that I’m chairing, which continues to meet. Where those challenges related to mechanical challenges were resolved, as we were starting to see improvements, we are now facing the challenge of load shedding.”
The water cuts and load shedding continue across the province.