While the Hakahana community say they had JoJo tanks during the last elections, these have subsequently been removed leaving them with no clean water.
WHILE the Department of Water and Sanitation has supplied JoJo tanks to rural communities across the Northern Cape, the approximately 65 people living in Hakahana, situated about 20km outside of Kimberley on the N12, fear that they have been forgotten.
For the past month the department has been rolling out the distribution of JoJo tanks among municipalities in the Province to help destitute communities, with a total of 901 tanks allocated to the Northern Cape .
The residents of Hakahana said that they were reliant on water collected from the nearby Vaal River with an old diesel tank.
Once collected from the river, the water, which they have to share with farm workers and livestock, is then stored in a dam for daily usage on the farm.
According to the residents, the last time they had clean water was during the last elections but stated that the JoJo tanks provided during the elections had been removed soon afterwards.
They said they previously got water from a borehole on the farm but were told that this had dried up.
The owner of the farm, George McGuire, said on Tuesday that he had no knowledge of the JoJo tanks that had been provided during the elections and added that he also did not know how and when they were removed.
McGuire said he only saw the tanks on his farm and later realised that they had disappeared.
The residents said they were unsure who to contact for clean drinking water.
It is believed that the Sol Plaatje Municipality is currently busy with interventions with regards to the allocation of water tanks to the residents after the farmer allegedly refused access to his land for water trucks over the weekend.
MacGuire said that he tried to engage with different stakeholders and believed that the only workable solution was for the community to move off the farm.
He said the farm was facing a water crisis, adding that his animals were also suffering. He said he had attempted to sell the farm but had been unable to get a decent offer.
“I tried to engage with the municipality to get more water but it will cost a lot of money as the water pipes have to go under the railway line,” explained McGuire.
He added that the water from the river was not suitable for drinking and said that he had given instructions to his workers to boil the water before using it. “My workers have access to clean water from an existing borehole on the farm but only they have access and not members of the community.
“The best solution is for the residents to relocate. This situation is becoming a nightmare for us as the municipality tried to evict them and offered them plots in Kimberley, while the Department of Land Affairs offered them money to move but they are adamant that they want to stay here.
“I have tried several times to reason with them and to point out that there are better opportunities if they move closer to town.”
The Department of Water and Sanitation on Wednesday advised the Hakahana residents to lodge a request at the call centre for a JoJo tank.
The provincial spokesperson for the department, Amogelang Moholoeng, confirmed that there were no allocations listed for that specific area and stated that no requests had been made for JoJo tanks.
He added that the municipality usually submitted the requests for JoJo tanks.
“No request was listed for Hakahana on our database, either under priority 1 or 2. If a request is made we will see whether we can assist them with JoJo tanks,” said Moholoeng.
The Sol Plaatje Municipality said that it was not the local authority’s responsibility to provide water to farms.
“That is private property, even if the demarcation falls under us. The municipality is not responsible for providing water to farms. This includes electricity supply which is from Eskom for farmers,” said municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie.