The FF Plus lays the blame for the water crisis currently experienced by Nelson Mandela Bay Metro at the door of the Metro Council (NMBM).
Over the last two years, the party repeatedly urged the Metro to implement the necessary precautionary measures to prepare for a possible water shortage as well as to urgently address water leakages, which are sometimes only repaired after months have gone by.
The Metro loses more than 33% of its potable water due to leakages that are not immediately repaired.
According to the Mayor of NMBM, Nqaba Bhanga, there is only enough water left for eight more months if the area does not get sufficient rainfall during that period.
The Metro has consequently requested the National Treasury to pay R188 million of the drought relief fund back to the Metro to assist with the crisis. The money was initially allocated to the Metro for drought relief, but because it was not spent in the previous financial year, it had to be repaid to the National Treasury.
The FF Plus expects the Mayor to table a plan of action for how the R188 million will be used to alleviate the water crisis as well as to prepare for a situation where the Metro runs out of usable water.
At the moment, one of the Metro’s solutions is to limit the water consumption in some cases to 500 litres per day by installing water restrictors in residents’ water meters. These restrictors will control and limit the water supply to every resident across the city. The water supply of residents who use more than the prescribed 500 litres per day, or 15 kilolitres per month, will be cut off.
The FF Plus is not in favour of installing such water restrictors. They are expensive and the money should rather be used to repair infrastructure.
Residents are now paying the price for the Metro Council’s failure to properly maintain its water infrastructure.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, the Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, and Members of the Legislature met on a weekly basis. During these meetings, the FF Plus repeatedly enquired about the progress with the repairs of the 16 000 leakages in NMBM as well as possible reports of any new leakages.
The FF Plus wants to encourage residents of the Metro to keep putting pressure on the Municipality by immediately reporting water leakages and demanding that they must be repaired at once.
The party will keep doing everything in its power to ensure quality service delivery in the interest of all Metro residents.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Theo Coetzee on FF Plus