South Africa: Waterless During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Communities without a reliable water supply continue to struggle for the precious resource despite government's announcement of a R20bn Covid-19 stimulus package for municipalities.

Rose Maluleka's loud voice sends a ripple of laughter among the women and children around the dozen blue drums and white buckets lined up along a dusty street in Hlanganani - an RDP settlement in the Collins Chabane local municipality in Limpopo.

They have been waiting here since sunrise - waiting for a municipal truck to deliver water. The truck, which they say last delivered water over a month ago, fills up one 125-litre drum for each household to keep up with the demand for water.

Women carrying babies on their backs are forced to endure the long wait for the municipal truck which has no set timetable. (Photo: Lucas Ledwaba / Mukurukuru Media)

"This corona might just as well kill us. We don't have water here. With this one drum, what can you do?" Maluleka laments in Tsonga to loud giggles and cheers of approval.

Street corners in the settlement are lined up with the blue drums that have become a must-have for every household in water-stricken communities.

The Middle Letaba Dam...

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