Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor for Ward 29 in Polokwane Municipality, Sarah Modiba filed a complaint against the municipality with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Monday for failing to provide clean water to the residents of Segopye and the Lenyenye section outside Mankweng.
According to Modiba, the DA conducted a door-to-door campaign in the area last week and realised that residents are currently fetching water from a well that has a very low yield. “Water supply dries up in the mornings and the level only rehabilitates in the late afternoons and the municipality fails to provide water tankers as an interim relief,” Modiba said.
Asked whether the matter was raised with the municipality, Modiba replied in the negative. “It is not my way. We have identified the problem and have an oversight role to play. I have to expose the municipality,” Modiba said.
Victor Mavhidula, Provincial Manager of the SAHRC, accepted the documentation and said that the matter will be assessed and if there are no other issues, the site will be visited in due course. “We will also engage with Polokwane Municipality and may find an interim intervention,” Mavhidula said. He could not provide time frames for the process.
Communications and Marketing Manager of the municipality, Matshidiso Mothapo commented on the matter, confirming that the municipality is indeed supplying water to the area in question. “The municipality supplies the Segopye area including the Lenyenye section with a functional system that includes boreholes and supply from Lepelle Northern Water. On top of these, the supply is augmented with water tanker supply on a weekly basis to cover areas that are on elevated catchment and may not be covered due to low pressure,” Mothapo said and added that the municipality is not aware of anyone who is fetching water from a well in that area as the municipality provides clean drinking water to the community. Mothapo admitted that there may be challenges with pump operators, but stated that the municipality’s Water Section has been instructed to engage with Lepelle Northern Water to investigate the matter and provide the full facts. “The municipality is highly responsive to the needs of its communities and whenever there are challenges with services, the municipality intervenes to ensure services are provided in a sustainable manner. We continue to work closely with Lepelle Northern Water and other community stakeholders and the municipality will cooperate fully and provide all facts to the SAHRC should such an inquiry be brought to our attention.”
Story & photo: BARRY VILJOEN