No water, no vote, say thirsty Senekal residents

2016-01-08 07:30
Senekal community queuing for water. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Senekal community queuing for water. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – Unless the taps start running with clean water soon, some Senekal residents have vowed not to vote in the local government elections this year.

Waiting in line to collect water, with no reprieve from the scorching sun in the Free State town, people recounted how they had experienced the full might of the drought since December.

"They want us to vote for them, but when we need help they don’t want to assist at all. We are not voting this year," a number of residents said.

Sitting in one of the few shady spots on Thursday afternoon, Mamoleyane Matshaneng said the municipality had not been supplying them with water consistently.

"We don’t have water to cook or to flush our toilets. All we ever do these days is get sick. Our tummies are always running and the worst thing is that we don’t have water to flush our toilets. We have a sewage problem, with these blockages."

She dreaded what would happen when the schools re-opened next week.

"Our children are still going to suffer and there is nothing the government is doing for us," she said.

More than 260 000 litres of water a day were being sent to Senekal - bought from farmers with boreholes at about 4c a litre. This equated to 50 litres per household per day.

The Setsoto local municipality said it was still waiting for help from provincial and national government. According to its water services manager, Thabo Mokhethoa, the municipality had been working tirelessly to ensure residents had water.

The Senekal Business Forum has donated four Jojo water tanks – one each for the retirement village, fuel station, youth centre, and the prison.

The defence force in Bethlehem had supplied a 20 000-litre tanker to help transport water, and police were keeping the peace, Mokhethoa said.

Senekal community queuing for water. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  drought  |  service delivery  |  water

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