The community of Khutsong is affected by many sinkholes, which are caused by faulty municipal waterpipes. Maria Tshabalala, one of the resident affected by these sinkholes told Karibu! that the sinkholes started small, when there was a sewer water pipe leakage which reportedly began in January 2016. “We can hear water gushing at night and it makes it difficult to sleep”, she said. These water leakages cause cracks to form on the walls and floors of residents’ houses and begin to destroy the foundations.
Ms. Mlangeni, another Khutsong resident, said they have waited too long for the municipality to come and see for themselves. “They were nowhere to be seen. We see them only when they want our vote. They just come take pictures and go,” she added. She was surprised to hear that this matter was reported to municipal officials before the local government elections that were held in August last year.
Thapelo Skhenjane, the community leader in Khutsong, told Karibu! that the reason for this collapse of municipal infrastructure was as a result of lack of service delivery. He said this was the main concern. According to Skhanjane, what Khutsong residents are experiencing are the consequences of poor administration of municipality infrastructure.
“The Merafong local municipality has failed the residents of Merafong, particularly Khutsong, ward 6 and 8, who are affected by these sinkholes, caused by faulty municipal pipes,” said Mr Gobile a DA member in the ward 8. “More than 25 people are affected by sinkholes and they were left vulnerable. Their houses were demolished by the municipality. There is no electricity there.”
Community members say it seems the local council does not have a plan to deal with this problem. Karibu! tried to get a comment from the Merafong municipality but has received no response.