In the early hours of 7 September 2021 residents from Thembalethu and Thokoza under the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality (in Mpumalanga), burned and vandalised two gantries (high bridge-like structures) that water tankers fetch water from to supply the communities of and around Thembisile Hani Local Municipality. The communities said they are tired of drinking dirty water from these tanks. The residents do not understand why they cannot have water in their homes while they are just next to the water-filled gantry stations.
Some parts of the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality only get water on weekends, while others only get water during the week. This is due to Operation Vula Vala, which was implemented by the municipality in 2015/2016. The municipal officials said it would supply the communities at different times and make sure that there is no shortage of water. Some areas still have not been able to get water from their taps since the start of Operation Vula Vala.
The community members have also complained about the drivers of the water tankers selling the water which is meant to be delivered to them for free. Mongezi (33) from Kwaggafontein said; “the drivers are supplying the communities with a small amount of water and reserve the rest of the water and then sell it back to the communities”.
Since the local government elections began approaching, the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality issued a water supply update on 1 October 2021 which shows that there is enough to supply the majority of the municipality. Communities around the municipality, on the other hand, do not agree with this report.
This article was submitted on 13 October 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article (https://karibu.org.za/no-water-in-thembisile-hani-municipality/).