Cabinet approves budget for water shortages

2012-05-10 15:33

Mpumalanga cabinet has approved an R85 million budget to address water shortages in the province.

The move follows service delivery protests by residents in the past three years.

This week, angry residents of Lilydale, near Bushbuckridge, showed their dissatisfaction by burning municipal offices and a grader.

The provincial coorporative governance and traditional affairs MEC Madala Masuku said the budget would be used to fix decaying bulk water supply infrastructure in Nkomazi (near Malalane), Mbombela (Nelspruit), Bushbuckridge, Albert Luthuli (Carolina), Dipaleseng (Balfour), Msukaligwa (Ermelo), Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme (Volksrust), Lekwa (Standerton), Mkhondo (Piet Retief), Emalahleni and Victor Khanye (Delmas).

Masuku said the allocation was an immediate intervention. “We’re aware that more still needs to be done and we are finalising the provincial water master plan, that will outline government’s holistic plan to address the water challenges in the province.”

He condemned residents who destroyed government property during service delivery protests.

The national department of water affairs’ Blue Drop Certification results – released this week – indicated that most municipalities in the province failed to provide good and quality water for consumption.

Meanwhile, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza will continue with his fact-finding mission to all municipalities in the province.

Tomorrow, Mabuza will visit Nkomazi region where thieves have been stealing water pumps, leaving communities without water.

He has announced that he was going to take the responsibility of providing bulk water supply from municipalities and give it to the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Development Agency.

The agency is a parastatal that falls under the provincial ministry of economic development environment and tourism.

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