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Brass water tap in park, 19 April 2014. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Maksym Kozlenko

Parliament unsatisfied with state of Giyani Bulk Water Project

The struggles of the Giyani villagers are absolutely unacceptable, Parliament’s committee said.

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Brass water tap in park, 19 April 2014. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Maksym Kozlenko

Parliament’s portfolio committee on human settlements, water and sanitation has expressed its disappointment with the current state of the Giyani Bulk Water Project.

On Monday, the committee embarked on a follow-up site visit to Giyani, in Limpopo, hoping that the 55 villages earmarked for water supply were benefitting from the billion-rand project.

Parliament accuses LNW of inaccurate reporting on Giyani Water Project

Much to their disappointment, this was far from the reality they witnessed.

The committee’s chairperson, Machwene Semenya, noted that the struggles of the Giyani villagers were absolutely unacceptable.

“We left Giyani dejected by the state of affairs, as villagers continue to suffer the hardship of lack of water despite the huge investment that has been made through the fiscus. It is unacceptable that the people of Giyani have not experienced tangible impact proportional to the investment made,” Semenya stated.

Semenya also lambasted the Giyani Bulk Water Project’s implementing agent, Lepelle Northern Water (LNW) and the province’s Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) for inaccurately stating in a report that 22 of the 55 villages were benefitting from the project.

“We intentionally requested to visit some of the 22 villages to see first-hand the provision of water. Unfortunately, we were met with dry taps. We have thus concluded that the report was inaccurate,” she added.

Semenya calls for heads to roll

The committee indicated that much of the project’s failure comes from lack of cooperation between LNW, DWS and the Mopani District Municipality.

“The committee found it unacceptable that while bulk infrastructure was being developed by LNW, the Mopani District Municipality had not made provision to develop reticulation infrastructure to take the water from reservoirs to households. The committee has instructed all parties to heighten collaboration to eliminate any disjuncture,” the chairperson emphasised.

Semenya called on consequence management to be implemented at once. She added that it has been three years since the project failed due to mismanagement and corruption, and nobody has been held to account.

“It is unacceptable that three years down the line, there is still no accountability for the delays in completing the project. The delay in disciplinary action is objectionable and must be speeded up urgently,” she cried.

The committee confirmed that work was currently underway in completing the project and that the deadline has been moved to September 2020.