The Mopani District Municipality (MDM) has long blamed illegal water connections for the water shortages experienced in many of the rural areas within their jurisdiction. In an effort to curb this, the MDM started a project to install a steel pipeline though the areas of Lenyene where the majority of these illegal connections were discovered. According to them, the new pipeline which would stretch through Lenyenye to the Thabina Water Works, would deter these connections. An amount of R90 million was set aside for this project.
They were wrong.
The only thing that flowed through the pipeline was another dismal failure as the same pipe was damaged by community members shortly after installation and new illegal connections made.
Employees of the MDM who spoke to Bulletin on the basis of anonymity said that though work on the new pipeline had started a long time ago, it could not bear any fruit because the pipe had been cut by community members where it passed through the township before reaching Thabina. According to them, the water crisis in that area was very far being solved as the residents are sabotaging themselves.
The communities responsible for tampering with the pipe are specifically Moime, Mapolankeni, Mokomotji, Mosorong, Thabine and the nearby Rasebalane villages. The matter resulted in rivalries between the residents of the townships and the rural areas. Those living in the rural areas remain adamant that they should not be forced to pay for water when the pipeline runs right through their area.
“Why should the township have water and we have to watch it pass by our houses?”
The project came on the heels of another R90 million also from the previous budget to refurbish the sewage plant which was once abandoned after a contractor was paid money but never completed the project. There has not been any provision made in the new budget for Lenyenye’s water woes.