Lack of Water Pushing Community Health into danger. extract from Rustenburg Review 2011.
In our community we don’t have taps that provide us with water, we are only using the tanks, municipality provides the tanks but a company called Seribate also provides water. As a community we don’t know where these companies get the water from.For washing clothes we are using the water flowing in the stream. This stream comes past the tailing dams of Aquarius Mine . This water we use has mine chemicals, we can smell it, animal carcases, and pamper nappies. The river also has bilharzia.
The water that the two companies provide does not cover all the needs of the community. We use this water only for drinking and cooking . The worst part is that this water is only delivered two times per week. Some of the people are digging holes in their yards for water. This water tastes acidic
There are bakkies moving around and selling water for R5.00 for 25 litre. Some of us we don’t have money to buy water because we are unemployed. When our water from the tank is finished we go back and use the salty acidic water from holes we dig. It’s a hard life but we surrounded by 5 mines which do not care about the people.
THE residents of Ikemeleng has suffered a lot, even under a government of what they the call democracy today. To the residents of this place nothing has been changed in their lives. Democracy to the them was to be a sudden change of an evil life for a better life .But that’s not the case with our people, rather things have got worse. We used to depend on the bore hole for water, and that water was clean but that changed, instead we queue for the water which we either buy or collect from the tanks.
The Rustenburg municipality has been wasting money in paying for the people who tender for bringing this water to the residents. They started to lay pipes for bulk water around August 2008. But this construction project for bulk water supply does not appear to be finishing. The project started around the month of August 2008 but even today the project has not yet been completed. Politicians use this project was to lobby in the 2009 national elections, saying that they are bringing us water. People have been promised so much that they can’t even know who to believe in.
In August 2010 the community met the Contractor. That meeting was held at the local school. The Councillor was present and the proportional Councillor and the Community liaison officer of the project. In the meeting, they blamed each other for not completing the project. The contractor said that the delay was caused because they never got paid for the job and that there were two contracts. The one doing the job complained about the previous contractor.
The Councillors said that they will meet with use after the new budget was passed. Now there is a new Councillor.
On the 15th September 2011 the Mayor met the community with Councillors and other representatives. They told us that we should have water by December 2011.
The question still remains, when the people of Ikemeleng will drink the water from their taps. Its either municipality or the mining companies around us can provide the answer…cause we are waiting to quench our thirsty before moo fire a go burn.