SoNA 2023: ActionSA Legal Team Writes to Water and Sanitation Minister to Complete Giyani Water Project

ActionSA’s legal team has written to Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, and his department to complete the Giyani Water Project in Limpopo where over R3 billion has been spent yet taps continue to run dry.

The President, in his remarks during the State of the Nation Address (SoNA), made overtures about the completion of the project but remained vague about the timelines by which this project is to be completed almost a decade later.

If the Minister fails to respond to the letter and complete the long-awaited project, ActionSA will approach the courts to ensure that the long-awaited water project is completed, and the community is no longer held hostage by the delay tactics of the water and sanitation department.

If they do not abide by the 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 last month, 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 SoNA last Thursday 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 that officials found complicit for allowing the project to balloon from R500 million to over R3 billion would be prosecuted, but no action have 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 continual announcement of new deadlines makes a mockery of the dignity of the people of Giyani and treats their fundamental human rights as a joke.

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.

ActionSA will therefore write to the Minister and the department to force the completion if the Giyani Water project, failing which further court action will be taken.

For too long the communities have been let down by the state’s corruption and failure to deliver, 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 defined by the South African constitution, and ActionSA – a party which values social justice – will continue to place pressure on the South African government to provide our people the basic services they are entitled to.