Business delivers the gift of a basic human right

Sales manager of Nissan Vryheid, Danie Taljard, Director of Water and Sanitation, Wandile Dlamini, owner of UD Trucks, Vryheid, and Foreman of Water and Sanitation, Trompie Prinsloo, will work together to ensure access to clean drinking water in Lakeside, Sasko and Vryheid central.


The gift of a basic human right, clean drinking water, was packaged in a Kholeka tank on a UD truck and generously delivered by Nissan Vryheid to parched residents on Monday.

The distribution of 16 000 litres of water to Lakeside, Sasko and Vryheid central on Human Rights Day was the beginning of an ongoing drought relief project initiated by Nissan Vryheid and UD trucks.

UD trucks donated the truck to the Vryheid community to be used for water distribution for as long as the drought persists, and will also sponsor fuel, regular services and insurance. The truck was fitted with a water tanker courtesy of Kholeka Engineering and Nissan Vryheid has undertaken to pay the driver’s salary.

Regular trips will be made to Hlobane Dam (and possibly to Newcastle or Piet Retief if Hlobane Dam’s capacity becomes inadequate) to collect clean drinking water which will be filled into JoJo tanks at public water collection points.

The dealership will be working closely with Executive Council member, Cllr Harry Heyns, and Water and Sanitation foreman, Trompie Prinsloo, to determine where the water is needed the most.

Owner of UD Trucks Vryheid, Gordon McManus, said it was a priviledge to part of the initiative as his business had also suffered setback due to the drought. “The community has supported our business over the years and we are happy to be able to give something back,” he said.

Danie Taljard, sales manager for Nissan Vryheid, explained that the dealership struggled to keep the cars clean to a standard that was expected by customers. “We are now outsourcing the cleaning services to a company outside of town so as not to put any pressure on the Vryheid’s water supply,” he said.

“Some residents are privileged to have a borehole or a tank, while we know there are other households that have not had water for several weeks. We have seen some people carry water over great distances, and now we have the opportunity to take water closer to the people,” added Mr Taljard. “People need to realise that the dams are not going to fill up with the first bit of rain. 130mm makes a small difference but it is going to be a long time before we are out of a crisis. Residents and business people need to get involved in helping. We can’t continue to blame the municipality. They did not bring on the drought.”

Witnessing volunteers from different walks of life coming together to assist with water distribution

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Estella Naicker

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