UDM accuses ANC of prioritising mines over the poor

2013-10-25 16:19

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has questioned the opening of the De Hoop Dam in Tubase near Sekhukhune in Limpopo, claiming it will benefit mines in the area while locals suffer.

“The UDM calls upon the ANC-led government and President Jacob Zuma to get their priorities right and provide water to those villages,” said UDM provincial secretary Mahlodi Rapetsoa today in a statement.

Government was “acting like the apartheid government” that did not care for the poor.

The De Hoop dam is near villages such as Ga-Malekana, Ga-Masha, Phahlamanoge, and Ga-Seroka, which do not have running water.

“The communities have for quite some time appealed to the ANC-led government to do something, but the latter has chosen to serve the interest of the haves instead of the have-nots,” he said.

The water affairs department dismissed the UDM’s claims.

Spokesperson Mava Scott said the dam’s purpose was to stimulate social and economic development in the entire platinum belt and the Olifants River catchment area.

“The UDM is advised to study the entire Olifants River water resources development programme to understand the main purpose of the regional scheme, which in essence seeks to provide water for rural domestic purposes and urban use.”

About 40% of the water would go to domestic use and 60% to “strategic use” for unlocking the region’s vast mineral wealth.

“It is true that Sekhukhune district is a water-stressed area and the schemes that are envisaged through this programme are meant exactly for meeting the water challenges in that area,” said Scott.

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