10 February 2012
Mmatsheko Pine from the Ngobi area in Hammanskraal will be pleased to know that President Jacob Zuma has answered her call and help is on the way to fix the water problem in her area.
In his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma made a commitment to send Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa to the area, which is under the Moretele Local Municipality, where the community has been without water for the past two years.
Pine took advantage of Zuma’s invitation to citizens to write to him ahead of his State of the Nation address and share the challenges they are facing in their communities.
In a letter sent via e-mail, Pine told Zuma that her community members were mostly aged and sick and facing a water shortage. They rely on rain to harvest water.
“There are water pipes and machines installed but the problem is said to be pressure to pump water. Could your office kindly assist with the powers that be,” Pine asked Zuma in her letter.
In his address to Parliament, Zuma promised to send Molewa to investigate the matter with a view to finding an urgent solution.
Zuma acknowledged that water expansion had been delayed in some parts of the country due to a lack of infrastructure.
“Government continues to extend access to basic water supply, however, clearly, water access is still a challenge in some areas.”
He assured South Africans that this was being attended to as five new water augmentation schemes were on schedule.
These include the Olifants River Water Resource in Steelpoort in Limpopo; the Vaal River Eastern Sub-System in Secunda in Mpumalanga; the Komati Water Augmentation Scheme in Nkangala in Mpumalanga; the raising of Hazelmere dam in KwaZulu-Natal; and the Clan William Dam in Clan William in the Western Cape.
In addition, nine out of 25 dams have been rehabilitated.
Following announcements made during the United Nations COP17 climate change conference, Zuma also said an amount of R248-million would be invested over next two years to deal with the issue of acid mine dDrainage in the Witwatersrand.