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AfriForum’s Kimberley branch fights to solve water crisis

The AfriForum branch in Kimberley, in collaboration with the local community, recently formed a community group to deal with the serious water problems in the city. From this group, the “AfriForum Rescue Kimberley” project was born in March this year, which has already taken several actions to call the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality to account.

“Water is a basic right and knowing that not only hospitals but also homes for the aged and schools have to go without water for long periods is a great source of concern to us. Basic hygiene, especially in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, is of the utmost importance to ensure that the virus does not spread rapidly,” says Ian Smith, Chairperson of AfriForum’s Kimberley branch.

“Schools are already facing challenges to ensure that learners receive sufficient tuition during this time. Further interruption of teaching owing to lack of water is alarming,” Smith says.

The Kimberley branch has already taken the following steps in an effort to solve the water problem in the city:

  • On 28 April 2021 the branch, together with an engineering firm from Bloemfontein, visited the Riverton pumping station to perform an overview assessment.
  • On 3 May 2021, the branch sent a letter to the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality to convene a meeting to discuss the findings of the report. The municipality was invited twice by letter to join the visit, but no feedback has been received.
  • On 30 March 2021, AfriForum held a meeting with the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality’s management, during which the water problems were discussed. During the meeting, a petition regarding water interruptions and water quality was presented.

To complete the next step, the AfriForum branch in Kimberley is asking the community’s assistance. AfriForum members and other residents of Kimberley will receive record-keeping letters to record water pressure. By filling in these forms, residents will be giving AfriForum a mandate to act on their behalf in connection with the water crisis in Kimberley. With adequate information, residents will enable this civil rights organisation to take further steps.

Record-keeping letters may be obtained from the offices of Ian Smith Brokers or by email at lize-mari.smit@afriforum.co.za.

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