The Minister was speaking during the launch of an R18 billion Vaal Gamagara water project in Kathu in the Northern Cape. The project is part of an effort by government to address the on-going water crisis in the country.
The project, which is an 82 kilometre pipeline stretching from Kathu to Black Rock, is expected to benefit residents, livestock farms and mines in the area.
Kathu has seen an increase of iron ore and manganese mines in the past few years, which has in turn led to an increase in the population.
The existing water pipeline which was built 56 years ago is unable to meet the demand. The on-going drought is also exacerbating the situation.
The situation has not improved; in fact it will not improve for the foreseeable future
Mokonyane says the recent rains are not enough to solve the problem.
“The situation has not improved; in fact it will not improve for the foreseeable future, because of the heat levels that have been there. Yes we know that there is rain in other parts of South Africa, but that is not necessarily going to make a difference because of the extent of the heat.”
More than 20 000 people stand to benefit, including those at Pepsi village outside Kathu, where they are faced with severe water shortages.
“We don’t have water and we suffer together with our livestock, we need water urgently,” says one of the residents.
The department says the pipeline will be installed before the end of October.
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