JERICHO residents welcomed a new rural bulk water supply in their area. Minister of water and sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane launched R15m project on Friday.
Mokonyane urged the residents to preserve water and stop vandalising infrastructure.
The Madibeng local municipality was marred with water challenges across North West for years. However Mokonyane highlighted that this will restore people’s dignity.
“We appeal to our people to protect and fight against vandalism. We are aware that water was a challenge within the municipality. However other contributing factors were vandalism and theft of infrastructure.
“So people need to patrol their areas at night to protect water infrastructure from being vandalised. We are bringing this water to you today, so take ownership of it. It is about time that you protect the infrastructure that the government brings to you,” she said.
“We provided purified water to this community after been without water for years. We have invested in a pump station and two new boreholes. We have also refurbished three boreholes and installed bulk pipelines,” Mokonyane said.
She added that they have activated the reservoir that was built for more than 15 years ago. Mokonyane highlighted that 95% of Jericho residents now have access to water.
“There are areas that suffered because of illegal connections. However we will root out that criminal behaviour. We urge all those who have illegally connected water to come forward. Connecting water illegally is a criminal offence, so those who found to be guilty will be charged.
“The sentence starts from 15 years jail term. So we urge our people to refrain from that. We will install smart water metres so that we manage the use of water,” she said.
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo said: “We are here to witness the results of inter-governmental relations between the national, provincial and local government. The people in this area had water challenges for some time. We are relieved as a province.
“We urged the water and sanitation department to assist and they never looked away. Vandalism is sabotage against democracy. So we want our people to rise against that. People vandalise and blame the government.”
Madibeng local municipality mayor, Jostina Mothibi welcomed the new water supply.
Keitumetse Baloyi, a pensioner who benefited from the water programme thanked Mokonyane and Mahumapelo for bringing water closer. Baloyi had a tap installed in her yard.
“This would go a long way towards helping me to cook for my family in time and to do my washing at home instead of going to the river,” she said.
Jericho Water and Sanitation Forum chairperson, Moses Seokane said Jericho residents were grateful for the water project.
“The forum has been at the forefront of agitating for water reticulation in the area for years. For the first time in many years we are having tap water in our yards. This is a dream come true for our impoverished area,” Seokane said.
In February 2015, minister Nomvula Minister Mokonyane issued a directive to Magalies Water in accordance with section 41(1)(a)(ii) of Water Services Act, 1997 to provide bridging finance to start-up implementation of the emergency projects in Majakaneng village, which is few kilometres from Jericho.
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