Bela-Bela residents urged to be waterwise

Bela-Bela residents should use water wisely, Deputy Water Affairs Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi warned on Tuesday.

“I appeal to all water users to use it wisely and sparingly.”

She was speaking in Rapotokwane, near Bela-Bela in Limpopo.

Earlier this month, Bela-Bela and surrounding areas were flooded when a dam wall burst after days of heavy rain.

Mabudafhasi told residents that the water available in the area was sufficient to meet the needs of everyone, and should be shared accordingly.

“Water can be made available, but if we do not conserve it we will still experience challenges.”

Government had put plans in place to ensure the proper distribution of water.

“We are aware of the plight that the community of Rapotokwane is experiencing due to insufficient ground water. However, the little water that is available is consumed by invasive alien plants and illegal connections, among others.”

Mabudafhasi called on community members to report illegal water connections. The local municipality and water affairs had refurbished seven boreholes, including a hand pump, in the area.

“[The] other two boreholes are currently being refurbished as we speak; the contractors on site were delayed by the heavy rains,” she said. “We are confident that these two boreholes will also be operational in no time as part of our short-term solution to the water challenges in this area.”

In a bid to find a long-term solution, the Magalies Water Board was exploring the possibility of building a pipeline and connecting it to an existing one supplying water from the Klipdrift water treatment works in Hammanskraal.

“This study will benefit Rapotokwane Village, Bela-Bela, Modimolle and Mookgophong,” she said.

Bela Bela flooded after dam wall gives way

The town of Bela Bela in Limpopo and surrounding areas were flooded on earlier this month when a dam wall gave way.

“There is water all over Bela Bela, rescue efforts by the police and the municipality’s emergency services are under way,” said spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi.

Helicopters were used to rescue residents from the area.

A nearby informal settlement was severely affected, with no injuries or deaths reported, Mulaudzi said. When the dam overflowed, waves of water flowed into streets and homes.

Searching for elderly couple

An elderly couple were washed away on Friday at the resort Klein Kariba outside Bela Bela when another dam gave way after persistent rains the past week. They were swept away while swimming in an undercover pool.

The search for the 69-year-old woman continued. The body of her 74-year-old husband was found on Saturday.

Mulaudzi said the road between Bela Bela and Modimolle was filled with debris and was not suitable for use by motorists.

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