Vhembe District Executive mayor Dowelani Nenguda has pleaded with the community of Njhakanjhaka in the Makhado Local Municipality to be aware of people who will use the scarcity of water in the area for their own selfish ends.
Speaking at Njhakanjhaka after honouring the invite by the traditional council to come and address the service delivery challenges in the area, Nenguda said he and his council have been mandated to provide services and are aware of challenges faced by the community.
“I stand by the resolution taken here today that the municipality’s technical committee must make it a priority to make sure that people get water in the area and also that water reaches Elim Hospital,” said Nenguda.
He said that now that we are heading for the local government elections many people will cook up stories in order to dupe members of the community for their own ends.
“Some are going to campaign as independents while others are forming new parties and they will tell stories to the community for the sake of getting votes. Just as I believe there are genuine grievances there are also some that will be cooked so that people benefit out of the plights of our people,” said Nenguda.
He appeared to be disturbed by allegations made by some stakeholders hinting at allegations of tribalism as a reason that there is scarcity of water in the area and also that staff members of Vhembe are also involved in making illegal water connections in the area.
“Our mandate is to bring services to the people and we have no time for tribalism. Water knows no tribe or ethnic group,” he said.
He added that if it is possible that staffers of the district are party to illegal connections, “that is the biggest sabotage that will not be tolerated.”
The mayor has committed himself to be on top of the project to make sure the water crisis in the Njhakanjhaka area is resolved.
The executive mayor talked after a presentation by Pfuluweni Matodzi, the CEO of Elim Hospital and Victor Muvhale, the chairperson of the Njhakanjhaka Traditional Council.
The CEO talked of a bad situation at the hospital because of the scarcity of water.
“We sometimes buy water for patients,” said Matodzi. He said they relied on boreholes that were not fixed after they broke down. Another problem was that people who did business outside the hospital sometimes dumped waste materials in the hospital premises something that poses a health hazards to patients. “We are not against entrepreneurship or business but there must be some control,” he said.
Muvhale who talked on behalf of the traditional council said their people said if the water issue is not solved they would not vote in the upcoming local government elections. “We are happy executive mayor that you came and let us come together and solve the serious problem of water. For years people were given false promises and now it is time for action,” he said.