Villagers living in Flagstaff Eastern Cape, currently don’t have clean, piped water even though new taps were installed in their villages just over five years ago.
The less fortunate residents of Flagstaff have claimed that water derived from the surrounding dams have been reserved for the rich and wasn’t evenly distributed or shared among residents in the area. The predicament of the event is extremely unfair and unlawful, yet it still, nothing has been done about it.
An elderly resident born in the village has raised her experience living in Flagstaff, stating that there hasn’t been proper water supply to villages in the area since 1988. During this year, villagers were also told to pay R10 per home to receive tap water, and still, till this day hasn’t received it.
She also claimed that during elections, the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality always seem to make them the very same promises they fail to keep. They always promise that proper water supply is provided to the villages, and while four water pipes have been installed underground, they are yet to provide water to homes. After all the municipality’s promises, the residents have started to resist inquiring about the situation, saying that when they do, they get referred to the Tambo District Municipality and receive the same result.
Taps Still Remain Out of Order in 2020
In recent years, new taps have been stripped by copper thieves. Currently, villagers are getting their water from the Nqandulo Dam, which is 2 kilometers away. They are forced to get up early each day to fill up large buckets with water and carry it back to their homes to drink, clean, and use it for daily tasks.
The communications manager from the Tambo District Municipality, Zimkhitha Macingwane, was appointed for the installation of 80 new taps in both Bhalasi and Siphaqeni. However, villagers still demanded more, which lead the municipality to install 64 taps in Siphaqeni instead of 60, 43 taps in Bhalasi instead of 20, and 15 taps in Ngqandulo. The budget for installing the taps were R23 million. Even though taps have been installed, there is still no telling when the taps will be connected to water pipes, which additionally still need to be refurbished. The community of Flagship is left angry and disappointed by the government as they await more answers to receive water to their villages.