ActionSA’s legal team will write to Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, and his department to complete the Giyani Bulk Water Project in Limpopo where over R4 billion has been spent yet taps continue to run dry.
President Ramaphosa, in his December visit to the project, also admitted that R3 billion of the R4 billion “disappeared”. This smacks of corruption and what is truly heinous is that the people of 55 villages continue to languish without water in these sweltering summer months.
If the Minister fails to respond to the letter and complete the long-awaited project, ActionSA will approach the courts to ensure that the stalled water project is completed, and the community is no longer held hostage by plundering and incompetence at the Water and Sanitation Department.
We are optimistic that, should it get to this point, the courts will be on our side and that of the people of Giyani. Should Minister Mnchunu’s Department fail to abide by a court-mandated deadline to complete the project, then the Minister and officials in his department must be held in contempt of court and thrown in jail.
When I, alongside ActionSA Limpopo Provincial Chairperson, Sello Lediga, and regional ActionSA activists visited the Giyani Water Project today, we found little to no sign that the project is being completed which was already launched in 2014.
The visit formed part of ActionSA’s nationwide public engagement campaign ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of The Nation Campaign (SONA) on 9 February 2023 where we engage with South Africans about the biggest issues facing the nation and ask them for solutions on how to fix the country.
Minister Mchunu told the public that the Project would be completed in August 2022, then September 2022 and now the public has been told the date has been moved to March 2023.
He also promised officials found complicit in allowing the project to balloon from R500 million to over R4 billion would be prosecuted, but no action has yet been taken.
It is simply unacceptable for the Minister to tell the people of Giyani every month that they have longer to wait. His dilatory tactics make a mockery of the dignity of the people of Giyani, and further demonstrates wanton disregard of the human rights to which they are entitled.
The people of the 55 villages meant to benefit from the Bulk Water Project faced yet another thirsty Christmas despite the promises of an incompetent and corrupt government.
For too long the communities have been let down by the state’s corruption and failure to deliver on basic services and ActionSA will do everything in its power to get the communities access to the water they desperately need.
Access to water is a basic human enshrined in the South African Constitution, and ActionSA – a party which values social justice – will continue to put pressure on the South African Government to provide our people the basic services they are entitled to.