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Water supply restored to Mothutlung

Residents say their water was restored last night after a week of violent protests.

Residents say their water was restored last night after a week of violent protests. Picture: Sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - The situation in the Madibeng Municipality has seen some slight progress.

The municipality made good on its promise to fully restore water to Mothutlung in the northwest by midnight.

Residents in extension two, whose taps were still dry on Thursday say the water came back on last night.

The residents say they were able to bath and flush their toilets again.

A local resident says his water was restored just after 9pm, but he still buys purified water for consumption.

"I don't know if the water is clean, so I buy myself a purified one and it costs me R50 to R60 a day."

The township was the scene of violent protests this week, sparked by water shortages, three people lost their lives during running battles with police.

Meanwhile, the residents are preparing to pay their last respects to three community members who lost their lives during demonstrations calling for uninterrupted water supply.

The community has accused the police of using force even when they were protesting peacefully.

'WE NEED TO MOURN PEACEFULLY'

Community leader, Paul Hendricks, has called on police to give residents their space as they mourn the death of their fellow community members who died as a result of a protest for better water services in Mothutlung this week.

"If the police would stay far away from the memorial service, the people will have a peaceful service for the three deceased."

Hendricks has also accused the Madibeng Municipality of failing to act when the first water pump experienced some problems.

He says because of this, local government must be held liable for the three deaths.

At the same time, environmental management expert, Anthony Turton, says the investigation into the Mothutlung water plant failure is crucial, and the evidence it produces should be strong enough to stand up in court.

Three people were killed during protests in the area after all three pumps at the water plant broke simultaneously.

The region has been plagued by water problems for years.

Turton says failures by municipalities to provide water has seen the emergence of criminal gangs taking the gap and local NGOs stepping in as enforcers.

He says it's not impossible that the Mothutlung plant was sabotaged to benefit those providing water tankers.

"If it was sabotaged, then there will be a huge amount of forensic evidence and I just hope that the investigating team is connecting the evidence in a way that ultimately lead as evidence in a court of law."

He says if no sabotage is found, the investigation should still reveal how all pumps broke at the same time and why they weren't maintained.