16 January 2014

South Africa: Water Restored in Mothutlung

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Service delivery protest (file photo).

Johannesburg — Running water has been restored to some parts of Mothutlung, near Brits in North West, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Thursday.

"We will continue working with the municipality at both local and district municipalities to ensure smooth running of the repaired pumps and that no further disruptions are experienced," she said in a statement.

Three people died in Mothutlung during violent protests this week after all three local water pumps broke down.

Molewa said progress was being made in restoring the water supply in Brits.

"One pump has been refurbished and refitted thus far, and this resulted in bulk supply from the water treatment work being restored at about 60 percent of normal flow to the reservoirs," she said.

"The Madibeng local municipality is being assisted by a technical team from my department to continue work on the remainder of the pumping infrastructure to return the situation to normality as soon as possible."

Water supply would be fully restored to the area by Friday.

"In the interim, Magalies Water Board has provided water tankers to a few residents that are still affected to ensure water supply and distribution in conjunction with community leaders in the affected areas," Molewa said.

A municipal technical team was working on fixing a water main that was vandalised and had exacerbated the lack of water in the area.

"My message to the Madibeng community is that the tide is being turned towards the desired state of acceptable water services, and by means of a concerted effort work continues to fully restore water supply," Molewa said.

"We are appealing for patience from the community and to alert residents that because of the vandalism that took place there will be dirty water coming out of taps at first, as the system is being flushed to return to normality."

Molewa said all three water pumps breaking at the same time was a rare occurrence, and an investigation was underway to find out why it happened.

Molewa and North West premier Thandi Modise would sign a memorandum of understanding in the next few days as part of efforts to alleviate water shortages in all municipalities in the province.

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