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The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has appealed to the residents of Nandoni in Vhembe District, Limpopo, to be patient as the process to finalise their compensation continues.

Residents from 33 villages near the dam site were relocated by the department to make way for the construction of Nandoni Dam in 1998.

Villagers were moved to modern houses and offered vast patches of land for orchards as part of their compensation deal.

Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister, David Mahlobo, visited Nandoni in October and November 2020, where he met with the affected residents, including community leaders, traditional leaders and officials of Vhembe District Municipality to discuss their compensation.

At both meetings, it was agreed that the compensation of villlagers would be sped up.

In December 2020, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, met with the community and traditional leaders to confirm the compensation deal.

“As a result, 300 affected families have already been paid their compensation and the department is in the process of paying outstanding families. The department has committed itself to complete the process of payment by the end of next month, which is the end of national government’s financial year,” the department said on Monday.

The department said claimants will be compensated according to the size of land they lost before compensation, in line with the value of the land before relocation.

“This means that the claimants will be paid different amounts. Given the current pandemic situation in the country, there is a slight delay in signing letters of compensation to the claimants. Queries by the claimants on their payments will only be attended to after everyone has received their compensation,” the department explained.

The department has appealed to claimants not to be distracted from the agreements and timelines, as per previous meetings with the Minister and Deputy Minister.

“The DWS is intent on bringing the matter to a close as quickly as possible,” said the department.

SAnews.gov.za

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