Water scarcity has become a pressing concern in the uThukela District, with farmers and residents bearing the brunt of inadequate water supply.
Recognising the far-reaching impact on both the agricultural sector and the community, farmers from Weenen, recently convened a meeting with the leadership of the uThukela District Municipality to find solutions.
The uThukela District, encompassing Ladysmith, Estcourt, and Bergville, is renowned for its thriving farming sector. However, the persistent water problems have hampered agricultural activities and posed significant challenges to local farmers.
Addressing the issue, the uThukela District Municipality’s Communications Unit revealed that the initial meeting aimed to identify potential water sources, particularly springs, that could be utilised through the installation of boreholes.
Moreover, the farmers proactively engaged with the municipality to assist in ensuring that water reaches both the community and their farms.
Building on this collaboration, the second meeting between the farmers and uThukela District Municipality officials, including Mayor Cllr Ntandoyenkosi Shabalala and Speaker Cllr TY Nqubuka, took place on Monday, June 12, 2023.
The primary objective of this meeting was to address the farmers’ grievances regarding water-related issues and explore viable solutions.
A notable concern raised during the discussion was the non-operational water pump in Weenen, causing water supply disruptions to the community and farmers alike. The uThukela District Municipality’s Communications Unit emphasised the urgent need to rectify the problem and restore a consistent water supply.
Responding to the farmers’ concerns, Mayor Shabalala acknowledged that the water situation was under active consideration, with the District Municipality awaiting the conclusion of certain service providers’ contracts.
Additionally, the issue of water outages resulting from loadshedding, exacerbated by the use of electric generators, was recognised.
While efforts were being made to address these challenges, the farmers accompanied the Mayor and Speaker on a visit to the ongoing water plant development in Weenen. However, it was noted that the current capacity of the plant falls short of meeting the area’s demand. To alleviate this issue, the contractor responsible for the project will construct a larger pipeline from the plant, ensuring efficient water distribution to consumers.
As the uThukela District Municipality and farmers strive to find long-term solutions to the water crisis, safeguarding service delivery and the agricultural sector’s interests, we invite you to share your thoughts on this matter in the comment section below.