The people of QwaQwa in the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality in the Free State have been experiencing a water crisis since 2016. The taps finally ran dry in October.
At the heart of the crisis is ageing water infrastructure, according to an April 2019 report by the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs following a visit to that area by the then minister, Zweli Mkhize.
The situation is exacerbated by political instability in the municipality, maladministration, poor delivery of services, high levels of corruption, poor financial management and a R4-billion debt owed to Eskom. In 2019 the municipality’s chief financial officer and expenditure manager were arrested for fraud and corruption amounting to R4.6-million in a security tender.