by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 31 January 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is calling on Sol Plaatje Municipality to better deal with the ongoing water crisis in Kimberley by partially lowering the water pressure in the evenings as opposed to imposing nightly water cuts. Water cuts allow air into the system and cause compression of the air bubbles into high pressure points. In effect, they are the root cause of the chronic bursting of pipes in Kimberley.
This comes after hundreds of city residents received astronomical water accounts, that have seen their so-called water consumption doubled, tripled and even quadrupled, compared with their past water usage, because they are being billed for air and not water flowing though their pipes.
This is completely unfair and is causing residents huge amounts of stress.
Given that the areas most affected by the water cuts include the city’s hospitals and business area, the water cuts are also impacting negatively on services and development.
The DA feels strongly that there are better ways of dealing with the current water situation that has been brought on by a ten-year stint of no planning and a complete lack of vision by the failing ANC municipality.
Given that ANC Provincial Secretary, Deshi Ngxana, yesterday announced that the party is looking at solutions, not problems, the DA would like to challenge him with our proposal. Replacing water cuts with low water pressure will not only ensure sustained access to water for all residents of Kimberley but will also assist to curb water usage and help combat the daily challenge of burst pipes. Above all, it will also prevent the highly inaccurate billing of water usage.
The DA is also calling on Sol Plaatje municipality to urgently come up with a strategy on how to fairly deal with the highly prejudicial water accounts that have been received by a number of city residents. The onus must be on the municipality to rectify these unrealistic water bills, and not on residents who are expected to coming begging for account reductions.
Excuses that Sol Plaatje has an old water system also cannot be tolerated. Old systems must be maintained and upgraded. The municipality must, therefore, come clean on exactly how far it is in terms of the planning of new reservoirs and the upgrading of an additional line to accommodate the additional water resources.
The DA will closely monitor the situation to see whether or not Sol Plaatje announces a plan to urgently rectify residents’ water accounts and better address the water crisis. Should the municipality fail to do so, the DA will be launching a petition and taking to the streets in an effort to stop Kimberley residents from becoming victims of the failing ANC’s inefficiency.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387