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The civil rights organisation AfriForum had an urgent meeting with officials of the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality on Wednesday, 2 June, after AfriForum had run tests on water from several suburbs.

Lambert de Klerk, AfriForum’s Head of Environmental Affairs, says the organisation had received several complaints from residents concerning the quality of their water. The first water samples were taken on 16 February 2021 and follow-up samples were taken on 17 May 2021 and again on 25 May 2021. Test results indicated that the water was contaminated.

AfriForum subsequently requested an urgent meeting with the municipality. Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Head of Local Government Affairs, says this meeting took place after a series of previous meetings. Boyce Daluwayo, Acting Manager of the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, Phetole Sithole, Acting Director of Infrastructure and Sabelo Mkhize, Water Services Manager, attended the meeting with AfriForum.

“The meeting focused on water quality, but we were also able to strengthen the good relationship with the municipality that was established during our previous meetings,” says Mostert.

AfriForum always tries to work with municipalities to find solutions to problems before approaching the courts. During the meeting, the municipality provided explanations for several problems in the system. The municipality welcomed AfriForum’s offer to establish a formal relationship with them and to monitor water services.

Mostert says the E.coli. levels in Kimberley’s water are concerning. The levels are supposed to be at zero.

“I think we all believe Kimberley can once again become the city it once was – otherwise there wouldn’t be any sense in fighting for it. We all care,” says Ian Smith, Chairperson of AfriForum’s Kimberley branch.

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