In its continuous effort to increase access to water and improve the quality of lives of people, Capricorn District Municipality (CDM), handed over water projects to communities in Mashashane, Matlala and Maraba in Aganang Municipality on the 15th of September 2015.
Executive Mayor Gilbert Kganyago handed over the water projects to Kgomoschool, Naledi, Phofu, Bergsicht and Lepotlako villages.Kganyago is quoted to have said that he hoped the “projects will go a long way in further expanding the water reticulation network and reduce the backlog of water supply in this area”. The handover comes four months after Kganyago made a commitment in his State of the District Address that the CDM “continues to intervene in areas where water shortages are severe” as it strives to reduce the water supply backlogs in more and more villages. in a media release CDM stated that this backlog currently stands at 22% and that a further R60 million is required to provide water to all. The area has long been serviced through various regional water schemes which is not sufficient.
CDM informed that in Kgomoschool the construction of elevated steel tanks and a pipeline now benefits 463 households and the project in Phofu 304 households through yard connections and communal taps. In Naledi, the project benefits 400 households through yard connections reticulated from an elevated steel tank.
CDM also reached out to the community of Aganang during an imbizo held at Ngwanallela Village, on the 17th September. CDM said the outreach attracted multitudes of residents who took turns to ask questions about municipal service delivery performance in their areas. Most concerns were about the delivery of water, the impending reconfiguration of municipal boundaries and de-establishment of Aganang Municipality, ageing infrastructure and local economic development issues for Kganyago, Mayoral and Executive Committee members to respond to.
CDM reported that local resident Phuti Koko of Pinkie Sebotse village, expressed the opinion that the de-establishment of Aganang Municipality into Blouberg, Molemole and Polokwane was cause for concern as the process has socio-economic implications. “The condition of roads here will make it difficult for us to travel to Blouberg for certain services,” Sebotse is quoted to have said. Mahlodi Sekwaila of Rosenkrantz said: “We see water projects being implemented and commissioned for use but they mostly run dry, suggesting that the municipality should have a maintenance plan to refurbish ageing infrastructure.”
In her response Aganang Mayor Maria Mokobodi reportedly said the decision to de-establish the municipality was made by National Government and was taken in the best interest of development for the area. She said it would change the spatial composition of the district as some wards would fall under other municipalities.
The media release quoted Kganyago to have said that the object of local government was to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas in order to reverse the legacy of apartheid. Kganyago also said Aganang is one of the driest regions with low sporadic rainfall patterns and that it affects availability of water in sources. “Most of the water schemes in this area rely heavily on underground water and that is not sustainable”, he said.
He further urged communities to report incidents of theft and vandalism of water pump engines and electrical transformers. “This act of criminality drives us backward and halts our progress in water supply,” he said and urged residents to report lazy municipal officials who are reluctant to render services to communities.