Humanitarian aid group Gift of the Givers‚ which drilled boreholes in Makhanda in the Eastern Cape to alleviate a looming water crisis‚ has pulled out of the town in a dispute with the government over the payment of millions of rands. Despite drilling the boreholes and supplying water to those in need‚ the NGO says it has not been paid for its services by the municipality‚ which made an undertaking to do so. Instead‚ says Gift of the Givers‚ private contractors and consultants were paid for work that they, in fact, had done. This was R10m of taxpayers’ money that was “given away freely”. The organisation said in a statement that it did not have a disagreement with the Makhanda municipality‚ saying it had “been excellent”. The issue appeared to rest with the department of water and sanitation‚ which the organisation said has not paid for services rendered. However, the department disagrees with this assessment. Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said on Thursday that the department’s resp...

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