The people of Kraaipan, in the Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality, in the North West share one tap among 10 000 people, according to DA MP Leon Basson.

This emerged after the DA conducted oversight of the living conditions of the people of Kraaipan, a village nearly 70km from Mafikeng, he said in a statement.

“It is outrageous and deeply disappointing to stand alongside residents who have to queue at the communal tap and wait their turn to collect water in containers for hours. Some have to then carry the water for kilometres.

“The DA observed on Thursday how schoolchildren walk from tap to tap trying to get water after the school day, hoping to find a working tap,” he said.

North West was one of the most arid provinces and water supply was becoming more of a problem. In Lokaleng (part of Kraaipan) residents had no government-supplied water at all, and were forced to buy water from private boreholes at R100 a week.

“This represents a fundamental neglect by government and is breaching constitutional rights. The Old Kraaipan area has [a] completely unpredictable water supply – one day on, one day off. In other areas residents told us that water shortages can go on as long as two months at a time when the taps are dry,” Basson said.

“During the investigation we found that only one of the four pumps in the area is working, but even if the reservoir should be full to capacity, it will only be able to supply 2kl water per person per month. It was also revealed to us that the water at the local clinic is not drinkable.”

Basson said the DA would ask the minister of water and sanitation to immediately send a rapid response unit to bring water tankers to Kraaipan and to investigate how the pumps could be repaired.

African News Agency