Limpopo's poor forced to buy water

A Limpopo dam is one of the fullest in South Africa, but that's only because the provincial government has failed to get water from the structure to residents. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - De Hoop Dam is currently one of the fullest dams in South Africa. 

Not because Limpopo has been experiencing good rainfall but because government ineptitude has led to a situation where 5 years after the structure was opened, villagers are still struggling to draw water from it.

Instead, the poor and unemployed are forced to buy water daily.

READ: Government spent R3bn on De Hoop dam: Zuma

Several times a day, 53-year-old Dinalane Maota from the Sekhukhune district of Limpopo, carries a drum to her next door neighbour’s yard to buy water.

Maota is an unemployed domestic worker with 2 kids.

“Every morning we go to the neighbors with borehole water taps and pay R2 for a 25 Liter container. We buy water to bath, to wash clothes and cook.”

Sekhukhune district municipality is about 2 thirds the size of Gauteng province.

Mostly rural, the area is water-scarce with a history of droughts and scanty rainfall.

De Hoop Dam was hailed as a game changer.

With a whopping R3.5-billion price tag, it was officially opened by former president Jacob Zuma, just before the 2014 general elections.

But, in the past 5 years, government has failed to build infrastructure that would get the water from the dam to the villages.

The dam needs treatment plants and pipes to supply water to residents.

For more on this story watch eNCA’s current affairs programme, Checkpoint, tonight at 8:30 pm. #DStv403