Pretoria: North West Premier Thandi Modise says she has noted the grievances directed towards government by the family of the 58-year-old woman who died queuing for water in Borolelo near Swartruggens.
The woman, Shuki Moiloa, was buried at the weekend with financial support from the provincial government. The body of the mother of three had been lying in the mortuary for close to three weeks until Modise’s intervention to assist the family meet funeral costs.
According to a statement released by the Office of the Premier on Tuesday, Modise said the recent death of the four protestors in Mothutlung and the passing away of Moiloa in Borolelo were “unfortunate and unacceptable”.
She said none of these deaths should have occurred. “However, this is not the time to ‘play the blame game’. Her death is one life too many, and government has assisted the Moiloa family, not out of guilt, but from a humanitarian point of view,” said Modise.
This comes after the Sowetan published an article in which the family of the woman raised certain grievances against government.
“Irresponsible and misleading comments will only multiply the present challenges that government is proactively working to eradicate,” said the premier.
She added that in the interest of nation building, government calls for calm and reassured the people of the North West that government was rapidly addressing water challenges across the province.
The premier will be embarking on a road show to affected communities to brief stakeholders on the scope, timeframes within which the over R2 billion water intervention projects are to be delivered.
“Though the water interruption and allegations of racism are still under investigation, the interim report suggest that a local farmer had closing the valve to pressurise the municipality to use boreholes on his farm at a charge of R38 000 a month.
“It would appear that when the valve is closed, local farmers get water downstream for their livestock but when the valve is opened they do not hence they are prepared to at their own cost tanker water to the local community,” said the statement.