Sheepmoor waterless for four months

Sheepmoor has had no water for the past four months.

This had led to a service delivery protest which saw the community barricading roads and forcing schools and clinics to shut down.

They are lamenting the fact that the Msukaligwa Municipality is doing and saying nothing about fixing the problem.

Sheepmoor currently relies on boreholes as a primary water source. The boreholes are not reliable and a constant lack of sustainable water supply is reported by the community.
From time to time during the dry season, Sheepmoor experiences inadequate water supply, mostly attributed to low groundwater le­vels. According to residents in the area, the problem has been going on for years.

This means residents have to go to the Jericho pumping station to fill containers with water and if you have no transport, you rely on the municipal water tan­kers that come to the area once in a while.

A service protest delivery on 11 September brought the matter to the fore, forcing Msukaligwa Municipality to take note and visit the area to assess the situation and calm angry residents.

They called for peace and calm as they will engage with the Gert Sibande District Municipality and community representatives in resolving the matter.

A community meeting was held to address the issues raised by the residents as well as to inform them community of the realities of the present situation.

When the Highvelder asked Msukaligwa Municipality about a possible solution to the water crisis, municipal spokesman, Mandla Zwane, said an investigation was conducted to check the status quo of existing water groundwater sources and a hydrogeological investigation was commissioned.

“The investigation revealed, among other, that the groundwater at Sheepmoor is insufficient as primary water source and can only be considered as an option to augment an alternative bulk water supply system,” he said.

He added that options were proposed for a long-term solution, the main one being that the municipality is currently engaging the Department of Water and Sanitation (provincial and national) and Gert Sibande District Municipality for assistance on the options, as this forms part of the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant Programme.

Mr Zwane says the municipality will supply water through water tankers and warns the community not to pay for it as this water is free.

He concluded by imploring Sheepmoor residents to bear and work with the municipa­lity, while they find a long-term solution.


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Amanda Mthembu

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