Communities across the length and breadth of Madibeng have in recent weeks been reeling under severe water shortages.

As both workers and the unemployed go about their daily lives, Madibeng Times wants to place it on record that the situation has even more devastating rippling effects, than meets the eye.

And these effects are bound to impact on every single household, from Bethanie to Jericho, Modikwe to Mothutlung, and indeed from downtown Brits to Hartbeespoort.

Madibeng Times recently reported that the sprawling township of Letlhabile has been without drinkable water for upwards of six weeks.

In Jericho, locals have been in a water crisis of all sorts for well over 15 years.

Now can the ongoing water supply shortages contribute to social ills?

Of course, yes.

Take the scores of youngsters who invested their lifetime savings in car-wash outlets dotted across townships and villages around Madibeng.

The car-wash owners would pay a couple of other unemployed youths per car, to speed up the service offered, meaning on average one outlet provides income to three unemployed youths.

Take also into account many other young people who wash the vehicles of shoppers at the malls and other complexes.

Multiply all this with scores of car-wash outlets which continue to mushroom in Bethanie, Mmakau, Majakaneng and elsewhere, then you have scores of young people loitering around with nothing to do.

Then there are also scores of other youngsters who, against the backdrop of high youth unemployment, have invested money into take-away food outlets.

Drive into any of the townships of Letlhabile or Mothutlung any given day, and you are likely to encounter other unemployed youths pushing around lawnmowers to earn a living from the gardens of those who have jobs.

The recent water supply shortages have led to what can be sadly described as the silence of the lawn-mowers.

Pray for the village youths who eke out a living from transporting water on donkey-carts, and the effect of the water supply shortages on their livelihood.

This situation – in any language – has the ominous potential to drive some of these youngsters into criminality, and even drugs and alcohol abuse.

There is also the plight of subsistence farmers in the villages, who are forced to sell livestock as a direct result of the dry spells.

In the village of Jericho a massive crop farming project is under threat until something -whatever – gives.