Scores of pensioners in Lenyenye who paid for municipal services expressed dismay at the lack of water in their faucets, while the trucks supposed to render services to them were parked at the GTM’s satellite offices.

This after some of the municipal trucks used to deliver water to drought affected areas were left imprisoned in the municipal grounds as some of them were awaiting repairs by service providers.

Other pensioners from low lying areas complained of muddy water running from their taps at times but they were still expected to pay the municipality for services.

A month ago there was some celebration in the township after some of the boreholes sunk several years ago were finally connected to the reservoirs to supply water to the residents. Within a week, residents complained that the water from these boreholes was dirty.

For the most part the water shortages experienced in the townships were created several years ago through many illegal connections branching off from the main water grid by residents at settlements refusing to pay for water.

These residents then accused the ward councillors of favouring residents who pay for municipal services, over those who do not. A project to install a steel water pipe was implemented at a cost of R40 million was completed last month. At the official project ribbon cutting ceremony, no water ran through the taps when it was opened.

A member of the ward committee in Lenyenye blamed the problem on the ward councillors not informing the residents of the negative impacts of illegal water connections. “When it is election time, the candidates for councillors turn a blind eye to these illegal connections for fear of losing votes, and after the elections, the situation is just left as is.”

Lenyenye has no river running through it and the community receives its water from the Thabina Water Works which is pumped to the township.

Most of this water supply does not reach its destination as it is hijacked by residents who illegally connect their own pipes to the main line.

The sinking of boreholes in Mopani, at inflated prices, had raised the ire of many people and when a lack of water persisted, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was called in by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate.

The issue of boreholes sunk throughout the region had now turned into a hot potato topic in the area as politicians use it as a weapon in their quest to make it big at the provincial conference which is set to take place soon.

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