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Modernised water systems required for parts of Northern Cape

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Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Sylvia Lucas.

THE PRIMITIVE water systems in the Ritchersveld needs to be reviewed and improved in order to make water provision more efficient for residents.

These were the sentiments shared by the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Sylvia Lucas who visited the Ritchersveld district on March 31, 2022 during an oversight visit to the district.

Lucas was joined by NCOP-delegates during the programme which was focused on the provision of safe drinking water and how to assist communities affected by the drought that has brought hardship in the province for many years.

According to Lucas, the communities in the district are mostly reliant on primitive ways of water provision.

“The water provision in the district is satisfactory, however many residents are reliant on boreholes and groundwater although the Orange River runs through the district. Many do not have modern systems of water provision,” said Lucas.

She said the area also lacks modernised systems should they face challenges with their current system.

“What we noticed is that the water pressure in Port Nolloth is very low. That is due to the fact that they do not have a booster. The water pump which currently pumps water to households in the area is also connected to Eskom power and when there is loadshedding, residents are left without water. Eskom then has to restart the power. That is a challenge and can be problematic. There is no free-flow system to boost the water supply although there is sufficient water supply,” she said.

Lucas added that the constant vandalism suffered at the oxidation pound also impacts the provision of water to residents.

“We heard reports that there has been vandalism at the oxidation plant. The pound plays a vital role in the quality of the water as it ensures that water is purified. We do not want faeces and other unhygienic substances to contaminate the water. The pound ensures that this does happen However, if the pound is vandalised and not able to work, the people will suffer. Our communities need to ensure they guard the resources which makes basic service delivery possible,” she said.

Lucas added that they are satisfied with the quality of the water but that the fact that the mining companies are the primary providers of water in the district also needs to be addressed.

“The municipality needs to reach a better agreement with the mines. The municipality is currently buying water from the mines. There should be a mutual agreement between the mines and the municipality that is beneficial to both parties. The municipality cannot be dependent on the mines for water provision. That is not beneficial to the municipality nor to the residents,” she said.

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