The Chairperson of the Makukhanye Rural Movement, Mziwoxolo Sume, met with Chris Hani resident Mama Cynthia Maqoko, to discuss the ongoing water crisis in the area.

Mama Maqoko is a farmer from Chris Hani in Kariega in the Eastern Cape. Mama Magoko spends a lot of time in her garden. “In my house, we don’t buy vegetables at supermarkets. We eat the vegetables which we grow at home,” she adds.

Her late husband grew up on a farm and taught her how to farm. This is how her love for farming began. “I used to help my husband with the farming. When he died, I realised that I developed a love for farming,” Magoko recalls.

Chris Hani is in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality which has been severely affected by drought and may even experience Day Zero.

Sume: How does the water crisis affect you as a farmer?

Mama Maqoko: As we speak, my vegetables are dry and my plants are struggling. This forces me to travel a long way to get water. It is affecting me very badly.

Sume: What do you think is the cause of the water crisis?

Mama Maqoko: My opinion is that this is a problem created by the leaders of this administration. It is also the result of corruption in the municipality and in national government. Government does not value the people living in this country. At the meeting that was held in July 2022 in Chris Hani, the opinion of the people was that ‘our sin is being Black’. Government does not respect our right to water.

Sume: Has there been any improvements with regards to the water crisis in Chris Hani?

Mama Maqoko: Yes, there was a change in the situation after the Water Crisis Committee intervened. It was a very useful intervention. That is why there are many water trucks. But in December 2022, things started getting bad again. The government and the authorities should solve this water problem as soon as possible. But I don’t have any hope

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