The Department of Water and Sanitation in Limpopo has strongly condemned the closure of Nandoni Water Treatment Plant by protesting residents in Tshiulungoma and Muloti villages.
According to Water and Sanitation Provincial Head, Lucy Kobe, the protestors overpowered the security personnel guarding the plant and took the keys.
Kobe warned that this will have far reaching implications, as it has affected water supply to communities that are benefiting from the plant.
“These acts of criminality have no place in Limpopo and whatever issues community members feel aggrieved by should not lead to the shutdown of the plant,” Kobe said.
Kobe said while the department fully understands that people have a constitutional right to protest, “no one has a right to infringe on someone else’s right to have access to water”.
She said such conduct has negative implications on service delivery, compliance of municipalities and water wastage that cannot be afforded in the midst of unreliable rainfall.
“The protestors also endangered the lives of the people guarding the plant, something that is against the law as well and we condemn that,” Kobe said.
Kobe said national government is aware of the water challenges experienced in the area, and they are working closely with the provincial and local governments to come up with immediate solutions.
“Part of the problem has been the non-functional pump station pumping water from Tshiulungoma to Mutoti village. The pump station has since been fixed, but it cannot be tested now since the plant is closed,” Kobe said.