DA Northern Cape Leader
082 383 6914
The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes that the current water crisis in the Sol Plaatje municipality is the direct result of years of chronic under-investment and the incompetent maintenance of the Cities bulk water infrastructure.
In truth, the buck stops with Senior Municipal officials, and their attempt to shirk their responsibility and force residents to accept the fate of the municipality’s mediocrity, is purely unacceptable.
The last two years in particular have seen the municipality stumble from one disaster to another, culminating in what were effectively two-weeks of water cuts late last year, and the ongoing ad-hoc disruption of water supply to Kimberley’s residents. At the height of the water-cuts, no water trucks were made available, and some of the more desperate and poorer residents had to resort to invading homes to collect pool water, and even collected pooled drain water.
Despite numerous warnings from experts, and complaints from residents, the Sol Plaatje municipality has failed to address the extensive backlogs in the maintenance and repairing of water infrastructure. At the face of it, it would seem that the municipality simply does not regard the Constitutional right for every citizen to have access to clean drinking water, to be a priority.
The DA is of the view that the Sol Plaatje municipality, which effectively contributes nearly 30% of the Northern Cape’s GDP, is simply too big to fail.
The DA believes that fixing the water crises would require a massive investment in overhauling the municipality’s bulk water and sewerage infrastructure using the next allocation of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, projected to be just over R1.5 billion. This should focus on replacing old equipment, and installing greater capacity piping, pumps and reservoirs. We believe the municipality should establish greater Public-Private Partnerships. This would enlist the skills and expertise of the private sector to develop and maintain the infrastructure needed. I will be writing to my colleagues in the Municipal Council, to table these recommendations at their next council meeting.