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Non-payment of contractor delays commissioning of Impofu Dam barges: DA

May 21, 2020
Non-payment of contractor delays commissioning of Impofu Dam barges: DA

Port Elizabeth - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s apparent inability to pay a contractor led to the two barges on the Impofu Dam not being in operation last week.

"During an oversight inspection at the Impofu Dam on Friday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) received confirmation that the barges should have been commissioned on the same day," said Cllr Masixole Zinto - DA Nelson Mandela Bay Spokesperson for Infrastructure and Engineering.

"However, we were reliably informed that the pumps have not been installed and the barges not commissioned due to the Metro’s non-payment of the contractor. This highlights the Metro’s incompetency and lack of urgency to address the water crisis.

"Should the barges be commissioned it will allow the Metro to extract an additional 8 500 megalitres of water from the Impofu Dam. This is equivalent to 27 days of water. Currently, the Metro is not extracting any water from the Impofu as it is at 16,45% of capacity and below the intake level."

Zinto said that he will now write to the Acting Executive Mayor, Cllr Tshonono Buyeye, requesting an explanation as to why the contractor was not paid.

"We were also informed that Nelson Mandela Bay is currently extracting 100 megalitres of water per day from the Churchill Dam.

"The Churchill Dam is a third of the size of the Impofu Dam and will not be able to withstand this excessive extraction," he described.

"The Metro is bleeding both the Kouga Dam, which is at a shocking 9,61% of capacity, and the Churchill Dam dry with no apparent plan to mitigate the water crisis, or any haste to implement projects that could augment the water supply to the City.

"The DA has already called on the NMB Municipality to immediately stop all extraction of water from the Kouga Dam if the residents of the Kouga Municipality and the farmers of the Gamtoos River Valley are to survive."

Zinto also said that it has been calculated that the Kouga Dam will be at 5,6% of capacity by the end of June.

"Furthermore, 3,1% of this total is dead capacity, as it cannot be extracted from the dam," he added.

"Nelson Mandela Bay and Kouga running dry is a total disaster and we must work together to avert this crisis."

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