Water issues in Motlhabe

Community Alerts/Lentswe Buda/Motlhabe-Rustenburg/24/01/19
In the olden days the community of Motlhabe had only one source of water which was the two rivers (Motlhabe river and Kolobeng river) which were rarely dry until around the 90s after the apartheid era when the community started using a borehole as the only water source, the borehole fails to provide the community as a whole but it can only provide about 30% of the community but still not on an everyday basis. Motlhabe has been a mine hosting community for a period of ten years now (2008-2018) hosting the Pilanesburg Platinum Mine (PPM).The community has protested twice (2012 and2016) and Grievances has been sent to the mine requesting improvements and employment and better access to water being one of the priorities. After the 2016 protest PPM gave a number of JOJO tanks plus minus 5(see figures) and scattered them around the community, the Moses Kotane Local Municipality (MKLM) also gave 9 JOJO tanks to the community, this was never a solution to the community’s issue but just a delay because both the MKLM and PPM do not refill the tanks in regular basis, some tanks would take over 3 months without being refilled, for over two years now we have been gathering information and interviewing the community (most affected),during the 2012 protest against the mine a developer from the mine named Popo Gumede told the community of Motlhabe about a project which was supposed to help the community of Motlhabe with water(water pipe project budgeted for 36 million but even today we have no idea where did it end up)  the community as whole find this issue as a prior because people have to buy water (see figures) and not to forget the fact that the is high rate of unemployment in Motlhabe.

Mr Kunene PR Councillor of APC together with the community decided to take further steps and different approach from the ones been tried before and engaged with Mr Benjamin Nkge (MKLM technician of water and sanitation) and Miss Lerato (MKLM HOD of water and sanitation) Mr Kunene worked with Mr Nkge whilst Miss Lerato was on Leaf and managed to engage with the Magalies water representatives, the community was asked to measure the distance from the reservoir to the tank, it was 6,5kilos and in respond Magalies water said “you are very lucky there is an available budged for the community of Motlhabe, and identified it as sewagodimo” (sewagodimo means if the was no action taken the money was going to disappear).Magalies water promised to send the money to the MKLM but did not tell when, and this Magalies water was not budgeted on the IDP and it is not on the financial year annual report(2017 to 2018).

lately an IDP Annual Report meeting was held on a nearby community named Molorwe and people were not well informed of it, information was not well shared so most people did not attend the IDP Annual Report, it was launched by the ANC councillor of ward 6 and MKLM HOD of water and sanitation Miss Lerato, they excluded PR Councillor of APC and other members from Motlhabe who were actively involved on this and when locals asked why Mr Thulani Kunene and others aren’t present on the  meeting as he was the one who started with this issue.ANC councillor of ward 6 responded by saying “a PR Council is powerless to make developments in the community” but they have not tackled this issue before. On the IDP (AR) it was announced that there’s a R60M budget for the community to help resolve the water issues in Motlhabe. Their strategy is to unblock the old borehole water pipes to the other 70% of the community to help them get water from the very same borehole. we believe that is still a delay and we do not want the borehole water we want the Magalies water, the is a pipeline from the reservoir which crosses in Motlhabe to far away communities but not providing the community of Motlhabe and this was done in 2016 without the community’s consent. The ANC councillor should not make decisions on our behalf, we have the right to make our own decisions on how do we want this money to help us and reach our own satisfaction as the locals, the MKLM HOD and ANC Council do not experience the difficulties we go through on a daily basis, they do not reside in Motlhabe.
By Buda Lentswe
These sections are from a document that was written to the North West Provincial Legislature by Community member Buda Lentswe and APC PR council of ward 6 Mr Kunene Thulani after being ball played by Pilanesburg Platinum Mine, DMR as well as our local Traditional authorities.