COVID-19: Ximausa residents in Limpopo left to dig in dry riverbed for water

The community just outside Giyani has not been able to adhere to the strict lockdown regulations because they don’t have access to water.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The desperate plea for water from Ximausa residents in Limpopo has now reached ministerial level after families were left to dig at a dry riverbed defying nationwide lockdown regulations.

The community just outside Giyani has not been able to adhere to the strict lockdown regulations because they don’t have access to water.

Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu said she was working to ensure all communities were able to access this basic human right.

Heart-breaking images were being shared on social media. They showed scores of residents in Ximausa using plastic containers, crude instruments, and their bare hands to dig for water in what looked like a dry riverbed.

The Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation said it was stepping in to help with meetings set up with the local municipality for Friday to make sure water is supplied to the residents.

Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said of the four boreholes in the area, only two were currently working.

“But obviously, if there are boreholes around we also need to see what kind of work needs to be done to equip the rest of those that may not be functional at the moment working together with the municipality and the province,” he said.

Ratau said water issues around Giyani were a long-standing issue. He said Sisulu had drastically increased government’s efforts during the lockdown to ensure all South Africans had access to clean water.

WATCH: COVID 19 Situation Desk - 17 April 2020 AM