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DA demands urgent intervention 'to save Nelson Mandela Bay from Day Zero'

Feb 7, 2020
DA demands urgent intervention 'to save Nelson Mandela Bay from Day Zero'

Port Elizabeth - The Democratic Alliance (DA) claims that due to the lack of political will and proper communication from the ANC-led Nelson Mandela Bay Municipal government, residents are not fully aware that the water crisis in the Metro is spiraling out of control.

"Day Zero has arrived in many areas of the Metro and daily water outages take place due to the low levels of supply dams," said DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, on Thursday.

"The average level of the dams supplying the metro, is now at 28.9%. The Impofu Dam (16.7%) is the main supplier of water to the Metro. It has now dropped below the intake level and no water is flowing from it to the City.

"Since August 2018 the municipality has been aware that a barge would need to be procured to extract what is left of the potable water in the Impofu Dam. It will take five weeks to have such a barge operational, but the leaderless metro chose to ignore this."

Bhanga said that the eastern part of the Metro is provided with water from the Nooitgedacht water scheme, but this water source is also under threat.

"Repairs are being done to the channel bringing water from the Gariep Dam to Nooitgedacht and will take up to six months to complete. This will negatively impact the flow of water to the eastern part of the metro," he described.

"The City is currently dealing with 11 000 water leaks and water losses in 2019/2020 are standing at 46.6%. There is a clear lack of water management.

"In Uitenhage alone, there are 70 active water leaks. A leak in Scheepershoogte, which was unattended to for four months, was the cause of six million litres of water going down the drain."

Bhanga said that the DA will now write to the Speaker to urgently convene a special council meeting to find a solution to the water crisis.

"We will demand answers on why not a single cent of the R200 million disaster grant funding given to the Metro, has been spent.

"The Metro must also provide us with a clear communications plan to keep residents informed of the situation," he added.

"During the DA’s time in government, we communicated regularly and visited residents and learners at schools to educate them on water usage. The DA governed City of Cape Town averted Day Zero by running a major information campaign to draw public attention to the crisis.

"We now plan on bringing our experts from Cape Town to the Metro to provide assistance to avert Day Zero. We also commit to keep residents regularly informed on the water crisis.

"The Metro is leaderless and the DA will write to the Speaker to convene a council meeting focussed on electing a new Mayor."

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