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DA accuses Bobani of continuing 'to ignore Nelson Mandela Bay drought crisis'

Nov 21, 2019
DA accuses Bobani of continuing 'to ignore Nelson Mandela Bay drought crisis'

Port Elizabeth - The Democratic Alliance (DA) claims that the Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Cllr Mongameli Bobani, is out of touch with reality and does not care about the well-being of residents.

"This is highlighted by the fact that he has still not signed off on the drought declaration for Nelson Mandela Bay," said Masixole Zinto Cllr - DA NMB Spokesperson for Infrastructure and Engineering.

"Taps have been running dry across the metro and last week’s rainfall has had little effect on the dams supplying water to the city.

"During last week’s municipal oversight inspection at the Impofu dam, the largest supply dam to the Metro, mayoral committee member for infrastructure and engineering, Cllr Andile Lungisa, stated that Mayor Bobani would sign the local drought declaration within 48 hours. This has still not happened."

Zinto said that in spite of Mayor Bobani’s claims to the contrary, for more than two months the necessary documentation to have a local state of disaster declared in the Metro has been on his desk.

"Mayor Bobani has to sign this declaration if the Metro is to expect any assistance from the provincial or national government.

"There is no doubt that the municipality is in the middle of a disaster," he said.

"Overall, the Metro’s five dams are currently at just 36.24% of their capacity. Despite a week of good rain, they have risen less than 3%, up from 33.96% measured a little more than a week ago.

"While the Churchill dam is 100% full and overflowing, rerouting this overflow to the Impofu dam has made almost no impact at all. The Impofu dam was at 16.47% on 11 November and only rose to 16.79%."

Zinto said that this is still below the intake level.

"The situation at the remaining three dams, Kouga (33.9%) Loerie (58.43%) and Groendal (39.43%), remains dire.

"Water leaks are causing major water losses, but still the Municipality is not heeding the DA’s calls for ongoing reports about the situation," he described.

"I will be writing to the EC MEC of COGTA, Xolile Nqatha, to request his urgent intervention in this matter. The longer Mayor Bobani sits and spins in his chair, doing nothing, the longer the people of Nelson Mandela Bay are being deprived of much needed assistance that could potentially stave off Day Zero.

"We implore all residents to use water sparingly. The Metro is currently using 280 megalitres per day, where we should only be using 240 megalitres."

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