‘We buy water in five litres’
The residents of Tumahole township, outside Parys, do not understand why their Sasolburg counterparts are dead set against merging with them.
Here people were not aware of the proposed amalgamation of the Metsimaholo and Ngwathe local municipalities until Sasolburg’s Zamdela residents started rioting and looting local businesses.
They claim that merging the two would compromise service delivery in the Sasolburg-based Metsimaholo municipality.
But Tumahole resident Mohau Tseole says the quality of life in Ngwathe is not bad.
The part-time retail store worker says while the tap water supply used to be erratic for a long time, things changed for the better last year.
Residents also complain that they often go without electricity on windy or rainy days.
“I don’t think amalgamation is a bad idea. Perhaps there are good reasons why it should happen,” Tseole says.
But some residents complain there is something wrong with the quality of their tap water, which they say has a bad taste.
It is so bad that Tlokotsi Jantjie says people in his section of the township use it only for washing their laundry and for cleaning.
The water tank that used to supply locals with cleaner water was burnt down during the last service-delivery protest in June, he says.
“We either boil the water before drinking it or we buy it in five-litre bottles.
“I suspect merging the municipalities is to take advantage of Sasolburg. So it could bring a lot of good for us,” he says.
As in many other townships, many of the roads in Tumahole are gravel.
The tarred ones are a mixed bag of smooth and pot-holed roads.
Ngwathe is a largely rural municipality, and statistics provided by the SA Institute of Race Relations show that only 10% of its population live in urban areas such as Parys and Heilbron.
Heilbron resident Luton Uddin said the residents of the town, which is over 100km away from their municipal headquarters in Parys, have been wanting to be moved to the municipality of Metsimaholo, which is closer.
They are most unhappy about the state of their roads.
Some of the town’s roads are dotted with potholes, while construction workers are still busy revamping a section of the town’s main road.