Residents blocked roads into Tshikota on Tuesday, demanding that Vhembe District Municipality provide a better water supply. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare.
For the second day in a row, residents of Tshikota blocked roads into the township, calling for a reliable water supply. The protest action started on Tuesday and is seemingly continuing indefinitely.
“We are not going to open the roads until the municipality supplies us with constant water,” said a protesting resident.
The residents have taps at their houses, but they say the water supply is unreliable and mostly only flows for a couple of hours during the night. They said the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) had not responded to their demands.
Tshikota is about two kilometres outside Louis Trichardt.
Matodzi Ralushai, VDM’s spokesperson, said the municipality was aware of the water problem and would address residents on Thursday. He said once the Kutama-Sinthumule bulk water supply project was completed, a constant water supply to Tshikota would be in place. The project is due to be completed by December next year.
“What is surprising is that, during the election period this year, we had a constant water supply. Immediately after elections, the water supply was inconsistent. It shows the municipality was looking for our vote,” said Tshiphiwa, who did not want to give his full name.
When GroundUp visited the area, some residents, including learners from Tshikota High and Masedi Primary School, were barring the roads with stones and bricks. Others were burning tyres at road intersections. Samuel Munyai, the mayor of Makhado, came to address them in the community hall but some of the residents left the hall while he was speaking to go back to barricading the streets.
Water and sanitation issues in the Makhado Municipality are run by the VDM.
“We have been patient for a long time. We cannot afford to buy water every day when we have water pipes at our homes. We pay all bills required by the municipality. Where is this money going to?” asked resident Mpho Mudau. She said water had long been a problem in the area. Residents who have boreholes at their homes sell 20 litres of water for R3.
“I need about 80 litres of water every day. I do not work. This is a lot of money,” Mudau said.
(The article was first published by GroundUp on Tuesday and is republished with a different introduction to make reference of the latest events. The link is: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/tshikota-residents-block-roads-demand-better-water-supply/)
Date:16 October 2019 - By: Bernard Chiguvare
Bernard Chiguvare is a Zimbabwean-born journalist. He writes mainly for the online publication, Groundup.