Water supply cut in Dominionville
By Talita Diphoko and Richard Mongale
In 2010 when the monitoring school was introduced in Klerksdorp the Justice and Peace Commission saw it opportune that most of the pressing issues will be addressed by the programme. During that time the Justice and peace already realized the social problems that the community was encountering and amongst those were problems associated with service delivery and injustices posed by corporations like Uranium One and Shiva Uranium. Through strong advocacy by committed Justice and Peace activists from the Diocesan office and Dominionville J&P activists, the Dr. Kenneth Kaunda district municipality fast tracked the water supply infrastructure and installation together with pit toilets in 2011 and that was seen as a victory and a milestone. It was joy and happiness in the people’s faces when they firstly accessed water from their communal taps and villagers were celebrated accessing their first basic need.
Today, ten months down the line in May 2012 water supply was cut without the community being notified, and that subjected members of the community to rely on the municipal mobile truck to bring water once a week which was not even sufficient for domestic use. This resulted in people having to fetch water in other nearby communities like Tigane. On the 12th of July 2012 the Justice and peace activists in Dominionville decided to call a meeting regarding the matter, and in this meeting community leaders were called in to address the community and they all did not come. In this meeting members of the community complained about sudden cut of water supply without notice because they do not see water infrastructure as a problem, and another worrying factor was that of the Councilor of ward 4 Cllr. Happy Boitumelo Plaatjie for not calling community meetings regarding general development plans prioritized in the IDP budget for 2012 / 2013 Financial year.
Another community meeting was organized by Justice and Peace members on the 31st of July 2012 whereby formal invitations were served to the authorities relevant to the metter. Invitations were extended to the office of the mayor of Matlosana Municipality, the Office of the Speaker , the Concillor of ward 4 Cllr Happy Plaatjie and the Directorate of Community services, and none of them showed up at the meeting and did not even delegate anyone to represent them nor send apologies. Never the less, the meeting continued. In this meeting it was discovered that the major reason water supply was cut is because Shiva Uranium is busy building a Big refinery plant which will be situated near the community of Dominionville. Many questions were left unanswered because relevant people who were supposed to answer and give direction did not attend the meeting, and that is seen as disrespect for members of the community. Meanwhile justice and peace office in Klerksdorp together with the Dominionville J&P members are working tirelessly in finding facts as to why are people deprived access to a basic need and a right such as water to make way for a corporation to profit. Follow up letters have written to municipal authorities and leaders to respond urgently to this crisis.