JOHANNESBURG – The Water and Sanitation Department says that it is finalizing the funding of the Giyani Bulk Water Project.
The R3 billion project was abandoned a few months ago due to non-payment from the cash-strapped department.
The project was meant to supply water to 55 villages in the Giyani area.
The construction company handling the project, Khato Civils, left the project unfinished after retrenching nearly 1,000 workers because of non-payment.
The project was launched by former President Jacob Zuma in 2014 to address water shortages in the area.
The department’s Sputnik Ratau says that towards the end of last year they were concluding funding for the last part of the project.
“There was an intention to actually finalize the funding for the final project as the department working around the funding in consultation with the National Treasury, our regional office as well as our implementing region.”
Meanwhile, fresh calls have been made for the abandoned project to resume immediately after a boy drowned at the construction site.
The six-year-old fell into a trench that was left open allegedly by Khato Civils.
The boy was reportedly playing with his friends in the neighbourhood when he fell into the water on Saturday.
The abandoned trench at the Homu village in Giyani in which 6-year-old Nsuku Mhlongo drowned has allegedly been left open for two years.
Khato Civils’ engineers never finished the work, which included laying water pipes in the area.
The Mopani Municipality ‘s spokesperson Witness Tiva says: “What we want to see at the end of the day is for that project to be completed and be handed over to us so that we can start supply water to our communities.”
But Khato Civil’s Mongezi Mnyani says as soon as they receive the money, work can resume.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the government has turned its attention to sort out issues concerning the Giyani Water Project.
Ramaphosa says the national government has intervened.
“I think of our people in Giyani who are still waiting for better water to flow through their taps; that we’ll also do. This we’ll do as we grow the economy of our country.”
The president was speaking at the Moses Mabhida Stadium at the weekend during the African National Congress (ANC) election manifesto launch.