• Daniel Steyn and Mkhuseli Sizani

Rural Amathole villages unite to fix water scheme

Residents of 40 villages are working with the municipality to fix the R125-million Mncwasa water scheme


The Mncwasa dam in Amathole, Eastern Cape, is full of fresh water. But taps remain dry in most of the 40 villages that are supposed to receive water from the dam.


The Equality Collective, a non-profit company based in Nqileni village, has joined traditional leaders, ward councillors, and community members, to work with the Amathole District Municipality and fix the ailing water scheme.


The Mncwasa Water Scheme, completed in 2015, was built by the municipality to provide drinking water to 33,000 people at a cost of R125-million. The scheme has a central water treatment plant that pumps water to 31 reservoirs and thousands of communal taps.


But only five years in, due to a lack of maintenance, the scheme started to give problems and it is now barely able to supply water.