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DA wants Public Protector to act against Alfred Nzo District Municipality

Oct 9, 2019
DA wants Public Protector to act against Alfred Nzo District Municipality

Mount Ayliff - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday called on the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to act against the Alfred Nzo District Municipality for what it described as 'criminal' conduct.

"The unwillingness of the Alfred Nzo District Municipality (ANDM) to take action to address the humanitarian water crisis within its borders is not only callous, but also illegal.

"I have written to the Public Protector, Ms Busisiwe Mkwebhane, and requested that her office investigate this crisis and act against the Municipality.

"Between 8 July and 19 August, I did oversight inspections at several villages and wards in the district and was shocked by the lack of water and sanitation provided to our people," explained Baxolile Nodada MP - DA Alfred Nzo Constituency Leader.

"I found that people have to make use of rivers and share water sources with animals. In some cases water infrastructure has been installed, but the taps are mostly dry and water trucks are not being dispatched by the Municipality.

"On the 30th of August the DA led a picket in front of the municipal district offices in Mount Ayliff and submitted a memorandum, addressed to ANDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Sixolile Mehlomakhulu, to representatives of the Municipality."

In the memorandum, the DA made the following demands and gave the Mayor 14 days to respond:

• Provide proof of a budget for water and sanitation for the Alfred Nzo District Municipality with specific details of where water will be installed in this financial year;
• Proof of how many villages of the 187 in the district have permanent good quality water accessible on a daily basis, and proof of a daily water delivery plan to communities without;
• Provide a plan with specific timelines of when underground infrastructure, taps and water will be installed; and
• Commit to delivering water to these wards/villages/communities at least twice a week as a temporary measure.

"On 11 September 2019, three days before the deadline, I wrote to the mayor and reminded him of our demands, but received no response," Nodada said.

"This is not the first time the plight of suffering residents has been ignored by Mayor Mehlomakhulu. I also wrote to him on 17 July and requested a water plan for the district, but I was ignored.

"On 25 July, I lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) after an oversight inspection at Ndarhala Village, Mount Ayliff where I found that the community’s only water source is the Umzimvubu River.  On 27 September, the Commission confirmed that it will now be investigating this issue."

He added that the role of the Public Protector is to investigate alleged misconduct involving the state at all levels of government and take remedial action when necessary.

"The Mayor and the Alfred Nzo District Municipality are failing in their mandate to deliver even the most basic of services to the people while at the same time violating their basic human rights enshrined in the South African Constitution. This inaction is criminal and must be acted upon urgently."

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