Public Protector steps in to help families get running water five years after taps run dry

accreditation
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Jan Gerber, News24)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Jan Gerber, News24)

After five years without running water, seven Limpopo homes have been reconnected to the municipal water supply network. One of the residents is a 72-year-old woman who was forced to use her old-age grant to buy water from other villagers, the Office of the Public Protector said on Monday.

This, after Thivhudziswi Lukoto from Ngwenani Yaha Themeli in Thohoyandou approached Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in May to intervene after their taps ran dry when a road construction project damaged the underground pipework supplying their homesteads, spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said.

"In a written complaint, Lukoto said his mother often had to push a wheelbarrow in search of water. He added six other families in her neighbourhood had been affected," he said.

"According to Lukoto, road construction workers cut the water pipeline supplying the section of the village occupied by his mother and neighbours. He tried in vain to have the problem resolved."

'Settlement agreement' 

According to Segalwe, this included several meetings with Vhembe District Municipality officials.

In its response to the Public Protector's queries, the municipality said water was only supplied to the village at a basic level and there were no taps in the residents' yards.

An inspection in loco, however, found each household had a tap and meter legally connected by the former Venda administration, Segalwe confirmed.

"A settlement agreement, the terms of which included the restoration of the water supply to the affected households within a month, was signed by Lukoto and representatives of the municipality, with the PP (Public Protector) mediating," he said.

Lukuto confirmed to Mkhwebane's office all seven households had access to water now.

 - Compiled by Tammy Petersen

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
33% - 578 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
67% - 1172 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.24
+0.2%
Rand - Pound
20.58
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.22
+0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.92
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.2%
Gold
1,851.19
+0.4%
Silver
23.92
-0.3%
Palladium
2,208.50
+2.8%
Platinum
1,036.00
+0.3%
Brent Crude
86.27
-1.9%
Top 40
65,870
+0.3%
All Share
72,315
+0.2%
Resource 10
72,883
+1.9%
Industrial 25
89,867
-1.2%
Financial 15
14,799
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE