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'Our people want water'

Some traditional leaders within the Vhembe District say they have now resorted to financing village developments as the local government has failed to provide services due to a lack of finances.

The community of Dididi, outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo is just two kilometres from the Nandoni dam, but they've been without water for months. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Some traditional leaders within the Vhembe District say they have now resorted to financing village developments as the local government has failed to provide services due to a lack of finances.

The municipality deposited over R300 million with VBS Mutual Bank, money which will never be recovered as about R2 billion has been looted from the bank.

Chief Nkhaneni Ramovha of the Mulendzhe traditional council has given the district municipality a month to provide electricity for boreholes and says he will have to use council trust money if this doesn't happen.

Vho Ramovha says the lack of water supply to his village angers him as the multi-million rand Nandoni Dam is just on their doorstep.

“In these circumstances, we don’t have a choice. The dam was completed in 2004. We’ve been complaining about the same thing since 2004, you can’t lament every day. You need to come up with a plan.”

He says he now has no choice but to take action himself.

“All that the people want is water. Where the money went we’re not interested as a community. Our people want water.”

The chief says he is concerned that the Vhembe District Municipality, which has jurisdiction over water supply, has lost over R300 million with VBS Bank while his community struggles.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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