R20m set aside for Bloemhof

Supra Mahumapelo says the move forms part of the ANC’s attempts to stabilise the municipality.

Youths fill their buckets with water from a tap after water supply was restored in Boitumelong Township in Bloemhof, North West on 29 May 2014. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - More decisive action has been announced today aimed at dealing with the water contamination crisis in Bloemhof in the North West.

In recent weeks, three babies from the Boitumelong township were killed and more than 20 hospitalised after water supplies in the town were contaminated with a deadly bacteria.

The provincial government says over R20 million has been set aside to address the problems.

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo's office says the move is part of the African National Congress (ANC)'s intervention to stabilise the Lekwa-Teemane Municipality.

"We still have to allow the municipality and the provincial department of local government to develop implementation plans on where and how the funds are going to be utilised," said Mahumapelo's spokesperson Sam Mokaila.

The ANC has also removed local mayor Moeder Makodi from office.

It's not yet clear whether a new mayor has been appointed to replace her.

Last week, municipal manager Andrew Makuapane resigned a few days after being suspended over the same issue.

In April, residents in the area held protests demanding the dissolution of the municipality, accusing council members of corruption and maladministration.

The protests turned violent with residents torching several homes and vehicles belonging to council officials and police officers, with various other incidents reported.

During the unrest, one person was killed, two critically injured and hundreds arrested.

A joint task team is now investigating the problems in Bloemhof, including a sewage spill that led to the water contamination.