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Giyani making every drop count

Written by Gabi Khumalo
Thanks to the opening of the Giyani Water Treatment Works, 55 villages in Mopani District Municipality will receive clean running water.

President Jacob Zuma and Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane with Emily Sambo, from Bonwami village, who now has running water in her yard.Two months ago, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane visited Giyani and promised the communities that when she returns, they would have access to clean water.

The water plant was opened by President Jacob Zuma during his recent monitoring visit to Giyani in Limpopo to assess the provision of water following recent community complaints.

The visit to the Greater Giyani Local Municipality in the Mopani District Municipality formed part of the Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring Programme through which the President undertakes hands-on monitoring of service delivery.

Giyani Water Treatment Works

The Giyani Water Treatment Works is part of the 26 Water Treatment Works, which supplies the Mopani District.

The scope of the Giyani Water Treatment Works refurbishment project, which is 98 per cent complete, includes the construction of additional 6.7 megalitres per day capacity Water Treatment Works.

It also includes the refurbishment of the existing 30-megalitre Water Treatment Works to increase the supply to 36.7 megalitres per day.

President Zuma visited Emily Sambo’s family in Bonwani village, where he opened a water tap installed inside her yard.

Sambo, 68, has been struggling for years; waking up at 5am and walking kilometres to fetch water from a river.

An emotional Sambo said she didn’t think that her life would change after so many years. She said since 1994, she had witnessed a number of developmental changes in the province.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for many years and it’s finally here. Government has done a lot to improve our lives. I first received an RDP house, I have electricity, now I have running water inside my yard,” said an elated Sambo.

Addressing the community at the Giyani Stadium, President Zuma admitted that there was a shortage of water in Mopani District, adding that the scale of dependence on boreholes showed the seriousness of this challenge, even in the hospitals.

“The rural areas in this part of the country are suffering, particularly when you consider that almost half of the boreholes drilled are for one or other reason not working,” President Zuma said.

He also noted that water is a serious challenge in many communities and South Africa was growing into a water scarce country, particularly due to broader changes caused by climate change and global warming.

“It is not this province which faces water shortage challenges, but many others in the country do. Where there is a shortage of water, sanitation is also poor and consequently health is affected. In other areas the biggest challenge is ageing infrastructure,” President Zuma said.

Government has made various interventions to deal with the challenge of water supply in the country. These include expansion of water infrastructure, building of dams and refurbishing and improving old infrastructure.

President Zuma said government was also increasing the Municipal Infrastructure Grant to enable the municipalities to increase their scale of service delivery.