South Africa, Cape Town – The government has acknowledged a letter from a 10-year-old Limpopo girl pleading for President Cyril Ramaphosa to end her village’s water woes.
Scores of social media users were also touched by her handwritten letter, which was posted on Twitter and also sent via e-mail to the Presidency.
Many retweeted it to help ensure the government would assist Phamela and her village in their plight. Phamela Ngobeni’s brother, Mathimba, one of her six siblings, told IOL on Wednesday night he was impressed by her courage as she did it of her own volition.
’’Dear Mr President, it’s Phamela Ngobeni from Mariveni. I am in Grade 4. You are the best president, but here in Mariveni we don’t have water but I can make a promise to myself that you will make a plan best president, thank you,’’ the letter read.
— Makamu & Munyai Inc. (@fumanekile_17) November 18, 2020
A confident and well-spoken Phamela told IOL: ’’I wanted President Ramaphosa to know that we don’t have water here in Mariveni. We have been without water for almost two months. We don’t know why.
’’We have to use a bucket to collect water for the whole family – my five brothers and sister, my parents, and granny and grandfather. Only some people are lucky to have boreholes.’’
She expected to hear from Ramaphosa and didn’t think he would be too busy. ’’I think he will listen to me because he cares about South Africans,’’ she said.
Mathimba said: ’’There was a water project here and it failed. They were unable to articulate the water even though we are surrounded by rivers. We do have rain sometimes and it’s not like we have a drought.
’’Many people retweeted the letter posted to the president and the minister of Water, so we hope he will respond. I also sent it via the government e-mail. My sister is full of hope Ramaphosa will take action.’’
One Twitter user’s response was: ’’So sad that after 9 years of best governance under the best President ever we still have massive poverty and places with no running water.’’
The Mopani District Municipality has apologised for the continuous water disruptions. Municipal spokesperson Witness Tiva told CapricornFM the area is experiencing an electrical fault and a pipeline burst that makes it difficult for Lepelle Northern Water to speedily deal with the situation.