The R143 million will be used to drill new boreholes and refurbish existing ones in the area, among other interventions.
Limopo, South Africa (18 February 2020) – An amount of R143 million has been allocated by the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation for drought relief in Moutse, near Groblersdal, in Limpopo.
The drought in Limpopo province is having serious ecological and economic consequences and will pose an increasing challenge to communities as the global climate is changing.
In a recent study, a representative sample of 300 farmers aged 16 to 65+ years was used. The study involved Sekhukhune and Capricorn districts. The following 11 local municipalities were visited: Elias Motsoaledi, Makhuduthamaga, Fetakgomo, Ephraim Mogale, Tubatse, Lepelle Nkumpi, Blouberg, Aganang, Polokwane, and Molemole.
“The results showed that current Limpopo province weather is dominated by drought and as results of the severe drought the province experienced reduced grazing and water for livestock and irrigation which negatively impacted the agricultural sector and hence resulting in food scarcity. The results also indicated that in some parts of the Limpopo province, farmers are already forced to sell their livestock because of drought conditions and that there was a shortage of rainfall in the most recent year. The results showed enhanced probabilities of 50% for above normal maximum temperatures in the entire Limpopo province. This is again raising very serious temperature trends in Limpopo province which will increase poor rainfall patterns and accelerate frequency of droughts. This will in turn place a serious challenge for agriculture, not only in the province but South Africa as a whole, because a sharp decline in agricultural production would not only have implications for a province or country but also for the region as a whole.”
The R143 million will be administered by Lepelle Northern Water, as the implementing agent, to address the long-standing challenges of water within the Sekhukhune District Municipality. The funds will be used to drill new boreholes and refurbish existing ones in the area, among other interventions.
Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, visited the area on Friday, where five water tankers and 20 water tanks were donated. The water tankers will be administered by the Sekhukhune District Municipality. Sisulu was accompanied by Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha; Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs MEC Basikopo Makamu; Sekhukhune District Municipality Mayor Stanley Ramaila, and representatives from Lepelle Northern Water Board.
During her visit, the Minister interacted with the Moutse community and assured them that there will be additional water tanks to ensure that all residents have water, prioritising the elderly, schools, the police station, and Philadelphia Hospital.
She emphasised that this will be an interim measure. At the same time, the municipality works with the Lepelle Northern Water Board, the province and the provincial Water and Sanitation Department’s office to initiate sustainable water reticulation projects in the area.
Sisulu and Mathabatha assured the community and stakeholders that the process to address water challenges in the area has started.
“I first have to apologise to the community on behalf of the government for the challenges that you have had for a long time. I want to assure you that we have heard your cries…
“I have tasked the municipality and Lepelle Northern Water to work together to ensure that the community of Sekhukhune has access to water,” Sisulu said.
While the national department is intervening because of the dire situation, the Minister said the local government remains responsible for ensuring optimally operational reticulation infrastructure to service communities.