Lack of water access undermining rural development

Pretoria - Access to clean and piped water has been singled out as one of the biggest challenges undermining the progress of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) pilot in Muyexe village, Limpopo.

This was confirmed by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, while tabling his Budget Vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

"There have been serious challenges. The most enduring of these is access to clean, piped water for rural communities. This is the one big challenge which continues to undermine progress in our CRDP pilot in Muyexe, Limpopo province," he said.

Nkwinti said their provincial department had started digging a pipeline from the Nandoni Dam in Thohoyandou to the village, while reviving existing boreholes and drilling eight new ones.

When President Jacob Zuma launched the programme in August 2009, he said at least one person from each household in the small, impoverished village will be employed for a period of two years.

Residents, who previously had to depend on social grants for a living, are now able to land jobs in the infrastructure development projects, such as the building of the Multi-Purpose Community Centre and the construction of community houses.

"The issue now is the poor quality of the underground water. Elsewhere in the country, the department, working with its national, provincial and local counterparts, facilitated the installation of 400 rainwater harvesting tanks, constructed a water reservoir in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal has drilled and equipped boreholes.

"A water reservoir is under construction in Disake, North West province; and, a 37km water pipeline, from the Orange River to Riemvasmaak in the Northern Cape, is nearing completion," said Nkwinti.

- BuaNews