The water crisis in Phalaborwa and surrounding areas is worsening as the mayor and her executive continue ignoring the plight of their residents in search of publicity stunts ahead of the elections. Some parts of the town are left without water for more than three days per cycle, at least twice a week.
Phalaborwa is run by the troubled Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, which is still being investigated for corruption by the Limpopo Hawks.
Ironically, there are parts of this town which are continuously flooded by clean drinking water such as in Batavier Street. This while Hardekool, Sealane Flats, Bosvlier, Bronkhorst, and Nolie Bosman Streets sit without water. Residents in Batavier Street say that the water leak was reported numerous times and has been running non-stop for more than a year.
The water shortage is blamed mainly on ageing infrastructure and a complete lack of maintenance by the department supposedly in charge of this vital basic right. Not surprisingly, the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality has shifted the blame onto the Mopani District Municipality on whose shoulder as they claim, the responsibility rests.
This despite it being public knowledge that the maintenance of the water supply network within local municipalities remain the responsibility of that particular municipality. This was made very clear a year ago when the Mopani District Municipality sent one of its teams to assist the Phalaborwa Municipality in repairing a burst pipe.
Not surprisingly, when Bulletin asked for comment on the issue, the spokesperson for the Phalaborwa Municipality, Jonas Mahesu, requested an email to be drafted which he would then forward to the municipal manager for comment. This was done and to this day no comment has been received. We do not understand why a communications department exists when no communication exists from the department. We fail to understand why the media cannot communicate directly with this particular municipal manager and cut out the middleman, when essentially all the middleman is doing, is forwarding emails.
In the meantime the silence breeds content within the community as the faucets remain as barren as the hopes of a new municipal elite that would carry the interests of their salary payers at heart.