Ricochet News

'Port St Johns residents have to share river water with cattle and donkeys'

Jun 22, 2018
'Port St Johns residents have to share river water with cattle and donkeys'

The suffering of residents of the ANC-governed OR Tambo District Municipality (ORTDM) due to financial mismanagement and criminality is now a human rights issue, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Friday.

"Residents of the Port St Johns Local Municipality are suffering from ill health as they are deprived of clean running water and have to share river water with cattle and donkeys," said Cllr Tembalihle Xangayi - DA OR Tambo District Municipality.

"The reason for this is the failure to launch the Port St Johns Regional Water Scheme – a project of the ORTDM.

"The project was started in November 2012 with a budget of around R150 million. From the outset a reservoir was built and water pipes and taps were installed. This infrastructure was, however, put in place before a dam and pump station were even built."

Xangayi said that the dam was eventually completed in 2016, but is still a white elephant as there is no pump station to fill it with water from the local river.

"During an oversight inspection on Wednesday, the DA Caucus in the ORTDM was informed that a fourth contractor from Johannesburg was appointed in March 2018 and is now working on the pump station. This work will only be completed in March 2019 and therefore residents will keep on suffering," he described.

"According to the contractor on site, it is likely that the infrastructure already there will have to be rebuilt, as the dam is now cracking."

Xangayi said that the DA Caucus will ask questions in Council and put motions forward requiring the ORTDM to explain why the people's money has been wasted and will fight for it to be recovered in terms of section 32 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).

"If that fails, we will write to the Public Protector to further investigate the misappropriation of the people's money," he said.

"The residents of the ORTDM are fed-up with the ANC’s record of poor service delivery and bad governance."