Ricochet News

Govt and Gift of the Givers meet to 'stabilise situation' in Makhanda

May 24, 2019
Govt and Gift of the Givers meet to 'stabilise situation' in Makhanda

Makhanda - A stakeholder engagement meeting convened on Thursday by the Eastern Cape government on the water intervention in Makana Local Municipality agreed that a consolidated report be produced by Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Gift of the Givers (GoG).

This is after Gift of the Givers announced it was leaving drought-stricken Makhanda alleging fraud. The organisation  alleged that after drilling these boreholes and offering other assistance to alleviate the water crisis in the town, they were shocked to hear that government would pay other companies several millions of Randsfor work that they had already done.

On Wednesday, the Makana Local Municipality said that it was awaiting costing on the work done by Gift of Givers, which includes the drilling of much-needed boreholes.

Nomphelo Roboji, Deputy Director General for Development of Local Government at Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), said the meeting was also called in support of the municipality and to strengthen working relations between government, the GoG and other stakeholders.

She said the meeting also clarified outstanding issues between GoG, DWS and Makana Local municipality.

Roboji added that the spirit in the meeting was positive with an appreciation of the work undertaken by all key stakeholders including the Provincial Government, DWS and the GoG to stabilize the situation.

“The Provincial Government commissioned Amatola Water Board (AW) to improve the quality and provision of reliable water supply in the municipality," she described.

“The aim of the report is to determine the exact work undertaken by the GoG in drilling boreholes in Makana Local Municipality. We thank the community of Makana for using water sparingly in line with the restrictions by Makana local Municipality."

Key stakeholders in Makhanda water crisis

The key stakeholders in attendance were Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (GoGTA), Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA), Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Amatola Water, Gift of the Givers (GoG), Office of the Premier (OTP), Provincial Treasury (PT), Rhodes University, Sarah Baartman District, etc.

Dr Badr Kazi from Gift of the Givers said they are “a medically-based disaster relief organisation and our role is to stabilise a situation during a disaster and not an infrastructure relief organisation.

“In the case of Makana, this was done and future work must be undertaken by skilled service providers. There is a transparent willingness by all parties to resolve all outstanding issues."

In her report, Portia Makhanya, Eastern Cape DWS Provincial Head, said they have verified the work undertaken by GoG and the oversight report has been drafted.

Makhanya added that some information should be finalized soon in order to bring closure to the outstanding issues.

“The water situation in Makana is stable despite the dam levels in the Western side of town remaining critically low,” Ms Makhanya said.

Acting Municipal Manager for Makana, Ms Riana Meiring, reassured the community of Makana that water quality is guaranteed and that both Waainek and James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works are fully-functional and water supply will continue.

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.

For great savings on life’s little pleasures visit Bargain Buys!  Know somebody who is getting married, Wedding and Function can assist.  Have kids, then you need to visit Kids Connection. Enjoy food and travel, then visit Home Food and Travel. Need assistance with an online presence, visit Agency One.