The cold wind and rain blanketed Avondale in a thick grey mist; buckets and bottles lined the perimeters of colourful houses and shacks waiting to be filled with perhaps the community’s rarest resource- water. After searching for someone to speak to, our team met Bonakela Mbangani and Jack Gobile; two residents who struggle to access water. It wasn’t hard to believe: there appeared to be more buckets and bottles in the community than residents.
Avondale is one of three state-owned farms in the area (and among more than a dozen within the municipality) where the water supply in insufficient for the community living there. Makana Municipality has earmarked drought-relief funding to sink boreholes, but meanwhile continues to deliver truckloads of water to farming communities all over the municipality – at a cost that councillors have flagged as unsustainable. No money to repair broken municipal water trucks means that Avondale and many other areas received their last delivery more than two months ago.
The communities on Castle Farm and Ripley were reportedly also experiencing dire water shortages, although the Grocott’s Mail team did not visit these farms.