KZN residents have to swallow the same water as their cows

Lungani Zungu

The dirty water has left a sour taste in the mouths of residents who’ve been sharing their water with cows and goats.

60-year-old Sibongile Khumalo who grew up in Msinga village in KZN said in all her life their cries for help have never been answered.

“I never thought there was anything wrong with drinking water with cows and goats, but it’s difficult now because we know that other people have clean water,” she said.

The mother of four wants to see her village get water before she dies.

“We are not fighting for ourselves anymore, but we are doing this for our grandchildren who are still growing up.”

Her daughter Nomthandazo said it was usual to see people queuing alongside cows in a nearby river to get water. 

“We stand with cows at the river because we have got no other option,” said Nomthandazo.

“If there’s no money as the government always says, then they can at least build boreholes for us. That would be much better than fighting over water with the cattle.”

Angered by the lack of clean water, Msinga residents have held a series of marches. Protester Thabani Mhlongo said: “We have resorted to protesting because no one seems to care about us. I think our politicians understand the language of protesting more than any other. We will fight until we get water.”

Mayor Buyiswa Ngcobo said they were working hard to ensure that the residents get water.

“It pains me that our residents don’t have water. This issue tops my agenda. As a local municipality we will put pressure on our district municipality of Umzinyathi to deal with the shortage.”