By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA – Residents of Tseki village can now drink water from their own taps, thanks to the Maluti-a-Phofung (MAP) government which facilitated the entire process of ensuring dozens of communities in the area get access to water.
On February 27, many residents of Tseki village in ward 10 who were deprived of clean drinking water for between eight and 14 years, celebrated what many described as a dream come true – drinking from their taps – after a MAP Water team was tasked with establishing the cause of alleged water displacement.
“It’s unbelievable; there is so much joy and relief from all of us after we had experienced the most difficult time in the last 14 years,” said Maserame Tsilakamang of Thajaneng.
She told The Guard that for the 14 past years, they did not have any choice but to walk close to three kilometres to fetch water from Mankgatala fountain on the other side of Lere La Tshepe Tvet college.
“On many occasions, we would get there very early around 4:00 in the morning only to find a very long queue and we would only be able to get water around midday. Imagine having to carry a 20-litre bucket full of fountain water on my head and one on either hand,” said Tsilakamang.
The executive mayor Gilbert Tjhopo Mokotso, described the milestone as the best to wrap up his 100 days in office.
“As we look back to what we have achieved in this very short period, we must keep alive the momentum of providing our communities with basic services like water and electricity. We must thank Ward Councillor Mojalefa Naledi and the new MAP Water team for bringing back the dignity of our people in that area,” Mokotso said.
According to ward councillor Naledi, Tseki village’s inability to access clean drinking water has been one of the longest-running crises in MAP.
“As far as the new coalition government led by Cllr Mokotso is concerned, this is a victory for the community in this area,” he said.
In early 2020, MAP made national headlines when residents were up in arms over lack of access to water following the death of eight-year-old Mosa Mbele who drowned in Mandela Park River while drawing water with her brother.
Ensuing protests saw schools and businesses being shut down by residents who complained that their plight had fallen on deaf ears. Subsequent to the famous #QwaQwaShutdown, the then Minister of Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu allocated R220 million to address the water crisis in MAP.