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DA: Bay must immediately stop extracting water from Kouga dam

May 12, 2020
DA: Bay must immediately stop extracting water from Kouga dam

Port Elizabeth - The Democratic Alliance says the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality must immediately cease 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.

"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," said DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga.

"The DA will write to the Department of Water and Sanitation, and Nelson Mandela Bay’s Interim Executive Mayor and Acting City Manager, requesting them to act.

"NMB can counteract the shortfall created by not extracting water from the Kouga Dam by making use of demand reduction, water pressure reduction, and by maximizing extraction from the Nooitgedacht Scheme."

He added that the Department of Water Affairs has confirmed that NMB’s daily water consumption increased to 329 megalitres in March 2020. The Metro is, therefore, extracting more than the recommended 250 megalitres per day.

"The main reason for this overconsumption is the Municipality’s total lack of communication to create public awareness.

"With this in mind, the DA has launched the 'Let’s defeat Day Zero in NMB!' webpage. This page is a one-stop site and residents can go to www.da.org.za/defeat-day-zero-in-nmb to get all the water information that is critical to saving our supply dams from Day Zero.

"The Metro must also operationalize its “Plan B” for mitigating the water crisis. This plan entails building or upgrading water infrastructure to ensure that water from Nooitgedacht can also be reticulated to the Western and Southern regions of the Bay."

The DA’s recommendations entail:

• The Metro must make emergency budget virements to ensure that infrastructure projects are funded and completed.

• The municipality must embark on emergency procurement processes to ensure that contracts are awarded and work commences.

• Issues with SMMEs are the main reason the project to provide additional capacity to the Nooitgedacht Scheme from the Canal in the Sundays River Valley is at a standstill. The DA will write to the Department of Water Affairs and ask it to intervene.

• Water supply to schools should be disconnected and only reconnected when schools reopen.

• Hospitals in the Western and Southern areas must be advised to install groundwater supply systems.

"If we all work together and are willing to sacrifice, we can avert this looming water tragedy," Bhanga said.

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