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Clean water flows for Nongoma communities

14th November 2023

     

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After years of enduring long walks to fetch water from the river, residents of three communities in Nongoma, KwaZulu Natal, will have access to clean water thanks to a R1 million investment into a water project by the Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC).

ZAC launched and handed over boreholes, 5000 Litre jojo tanks and communal taps to residents of Doncaneni, Ngolotshe and Masokaneni as part of ongoing efforts by the mine to support development. ZAC’s Social Development Manager Khumbulani Masuku said this was an important initiative because water access had been an ongoing issue, due to the area being water stressed. “Because this is a vast rural area there are limited clean water access points. The community is in dire need of water which is why we decided to action this initiative,” Masuku said.

The handover was facilitated through a partnership with the Nongoma Municipality, starting with Doncaneni in ward 11 where a borehole, water tank as well as drinking troughs for cattle and goats where installed. Another water project was delivered to residents of Ngolotshe. The last handover took place at Masokaneni where the community received a livestock dam and a communal tap that is connected to the Mngeni water scheme.

Access to clean water will assist residents to carry out daily household activities like cooking and cleaning, while supporting their agricultural activities. Masuku said the water scarcity also affects local subsistence farmers because they struggle to access drinking water for their animals. “We recognise that water is a life-giving element, which impacts both people and animals. Through this project ZAC aims to play its role by working together with local government to assist our communities,” he added. To date, ZAC has provided 262 558 000 litres of clean, potable water to surrounding communities.

The handovers culminated in an event that was attended by traditional leaders, residents, and Nongoma Mayor Clifford Ndabandaba. Ndabandaba said it was important for local government to form partnerships with companies on missions that uphold community upliftment. “As the municipality we are glad to see the work that was done by ZAC. It is such a blessing for us to see our people being supplied with water,” he said. Ndabandaba said the municipality would assist with maintaining the infrastructure by dispatching its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPW) team to conduct regular checks on the borehole and water tanks.

The project is part of ZAC’s Social and Labour Plan (SLP) commitments to implement initiatives that benefit the community. The SLP was drafted according to the identified needs of surrounding communities. Doncaneni’s Induna Mandla Ndlela said the project would make the lives of residents a little easier. “Our people used to walk long distances in search of water. But now they will have access. We hope to see more projects like this being developed around the area,” Ndlela said.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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