Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has committed to ensure that Operation Bulela Metsi meets its obligations to the people of Dinokana, North West, and ultimately the whole province .
The Minister said this during the sod-turning of the R106 million Dinokana Water Supply Intervention Project, implemented by Magalies Water, in Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality .
The Dinokana project is one of the 27 water and sanitation projects under Operation Bulela Metsi that were unlocked and reprioritised after intergovernmental interventions led by Mchunu and the North West government earlier this year .
Mchunu conducted an oversight visit to the construction sites of the water project ahead of a meeting with the community of Dinokana .
During the visit, the delegation was taken through the ‘sacred’ Dinokana eye, a natural spring where the water source and pump station is located .
The delegation also conducted a walkabout at the site, where a 15-kilometre bulk pipeline is being laid .
Mchunu said through intergovernmental structures set up in the province and the constitutional mandate of each institution, the programme will ensure that every household has access to water through a standpipe, and that people need to be patient as the project is being implemented in phases .
The project scope entails the refurbishment and upgrade of the Dinokana rural water supply infrastructure, which includes high lift pump refurbishment and upgrade from 2 Ml/day to 4 Ml/day; refurbishment of boreholes; upgrading of the spring water pump station and pipeline; refurbishment of the distribution system up to the bulk water reservoirs, and constructing an additional 2 Ml reservoir to provide additional gravity pressure .
Mchunu commended the progress made, saying that water will eventually reach everyone who needs to benefit from the project .
“We are now here to point to the work that is currently being carried out .
Refurbishing the pump station is critical so that all the pumps are working optimally in order to pump the required quantities, and be able to meet the demand of these communities in the four wards,” Mchunu said .
Over 1 000 metres of bulk pipeline has already been laid, including the commencement of work on the refurbishment and the bulk distribution network, which has also commenced .
Mchunu was accompanied by his deputy Judith Tshabalala, North West Premier Bushy Maape, Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality Mayor Khumalo Molefe, Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipal Mayor Dinah Pitso, Magalies Water Board Chairperson, Dr Lydia Sebego, and local chiefs .
Addressing Ramotshere Moiloa residents, Mchunu said 27 water and sanitation projects under Operation Bulela Metsi are currently underway throughout the North West province, and the Dinokana project is among them .
Dinokana Water Supply Intervention project is being implemented in four phases including: Phase 1 – Bulk pipeline distribution construction, including reservoir and refurbishment to existing transmission lines .
Phase – 2 Refurbishment of boreholes and additional drilling and equipping of boreholes .
Phase 3 – Reticulation and standpipe at 200m radial distance within village boundary .
Phase 4 – Upgrading pump station and pumping line to allow both reservoirs to be fed by pump station .
The objective is to provide an additional 35 000 residents with standpipes .
Mchunu said with the current 17 local people benefiting through the Dinokana water supply intervention project, five more job opportunities will in future be added to benefit 25 locals per ward .
The Dinokana project, which commenced on 30 September 2023, is expected to be completed on 30 September 2024 .
The Minister encouraged locals with illegal water connections to report to the local mayor to be legally connected for free, so that they won’t face the wrath of the law .
He further called on the community to safeguard the infrastructure, warning that connecting water illegally damages the pipes .
Operation Bulela Metsi is a water and sanitation intervention programme, which was introduced by Mchunu and the North West provincial government in July this year .
The programme is a culmination of a series of intergovernmental engagements among the three spheres of government, including business, traditional leaders and community structures on the water and sanitation challenges faced by the province .