Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has reiterated government’s commitment to making basic services accessible to the public.
“We must put the problems of our people first and make sure that there is money to resolve them. We believe that if we plan properly, we can make a difference,” Minister Mokonyane said during the launch of Mathibela Water Reticulation Project.
Minister Mokonyane, along with Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, unveiled the project on Saturday, where 24 households in Mathibela enjoyed fresh water from taps installed in their own yards.
The Mathibela project is one of the 25 water reticulation projects that were initiated under the intervention announced by the Minister and the Premier in the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.
The project stems from a MoU signed between the department and the Mpumalanga Provincial Government in June 2013. Rand Water was brought in as the implementing agent for the project, given the capacity within the entity.
Mathibela village has a population size of 2 015 and 395 households.
Turning on a tap at one of the households, Minister Mokonyane said it was a proud moment for government to bring the essential service to the village.
She said her department will work speedily to provide water throughout the region of Bushbuckridge. She said R1.14 billion has been set aside for Mpumalanga.
“In our programme for the coming five years, we are going to move very fast. As President Jacob Zuma said during his inauguration, we are going to work hard like there’s no tomorrow,” Minister Mokonyane said.
She said the project is not only looking at installing water but also creating employment for the community.
Premier Mabuza said the province is constantly addressing the concerns raised before the elections, where access to water was the main issue.
“During Women’s Day, President Jacob Zuma promised that government will install water [throughout] Bushbuckridge. By the end of 2015, all households will have running water installed. In our lifetime, government is going to make it happen,” Premier Mabuza said.
Community member Nomalizo Mabuya said the installation of taps is a relief because they had to wake up in the early hours to fetch water from the river, which is often polluted as they share it with cows.
“Some of us are sick but forced to drink polluted water. We are happy because now we see that government is doing something to meet our needs,” said Mabuya.
Kgoshi Lameck Mokoena, from the Mathibela Tribal Authority, thanked the Minister and Premier for bringing water to his village.
“I want to commit my people to protect what government has given us. We’ve seen this programme in other villages and come 2015, all of us will have water,” said Mokoena.
Source : SAnews.gov.za