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Water restored to most of Mothutlung

The majority of the NW township now has access to running water, but they say it's not drinkable.

The site of a service delivery protest in Mothutlung, North West, where two protesters were shot dead, allegedly by police on 13 January 2014. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The majority of Mothutlung township residents in the North West now have running water after it was restored this morning.

Three people were killed after this week's violent protest after all three local water pumps broke down.

The township has been without water for the past three months.

For the first time in months Mothutlung resident Tumi Maleho says he has running tap water.

But the water is still not drinkable.

Maleho was also too late to catch the water tanker arriving in the area after work on Wednesday.

"We want clean water every day. We don't want to experience the problem of no water because we pay rent and when the bills come, we pay."

Others say they have no other option, but to boil the water in order to drink it.

Meanwhile, only a few community members say they still don't have running tap water.

But Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has promised the community water will be restored in Mothutlung by Friday.

At the same time Madibeng Municipal Manager Monde Juta says they have restored water to at least 95 percent of the region and are on track to seeing all taps are running by midnight.

"It is possible that one section doesn't have a supply at this stage, but as per our commitment, by midnight the entire Mothutlung will have a water supply."

He says an investigation is underway into why all three pumps at the local water plant broke simultaneously.

"As the municipality we're doing our own investigation into the problem. This is a very unique instance."

The probe should reveal whether the plant may have been sabotaged, allegedly to benefit the owners of companies supplying water tanks.

But residents say even if water is restored, the situation will remain a ticking time bomb until dealt with properly.

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