24 March 2017
The DA in the Northern Cape will be submitting written questions to the provincial departments to establish how water shortages in the Nama-Khoi Local Municipality can be resolved. Water shortages have become the norm rather than the exception and it appears as though management from the municipality has done little to address the problem.
While the country is indeed in the grips of a severe drought and the Namakwa region has been hard hit since 2013, proper management and maintenance could have gone a long way in ensuring that all residents have access to water. Communication from the municipality to the residents is poor, with no programme being circulated as to when the water tankers will be in which areas. The burden to communicate with residents is being shifted to our ward councillor, Rodney Kritzinger.
Households in eight towns in the Nama-Khoi Local Municipality have reported that they have been left without water for more than a week now. Affected residents include Mrs. Hilda Coetzee from Carolusberg, who has to nurse her physically disabled son at home. Only two water tankers have been sent to provide water to communities in the eight towns, which is clearly inadequate. Many residents simply cannot afford to buy bottled water at three times the price. We are fortunate to have caring residents like Mr. Wepener from Springbok, who provides water from his borehole to a retirement home and four families in Springbok.
The impact of water cuts on schools, retirement homes and health facilities cannot be underestimated. How does a clinic maintain optimal levels of hygiene without water?
The municipality has sent a notice to residents that maintenance is being done by Sedibeng on the water infrastructure. The water pumps are often only operating at 50% and high-lying areas have been particularly affected.
It is unacceptable that Sedibeng, which obtained a multi-million rand contract to deliver water to the municipality, does not have stock on hand to ensure that the maintenance can be completed sooner. We are also concerned about rumours that meetings to discuss the maintenance were cancelled due to the failure of representatives from Sedibeng to turn up. We have escalated this matter to our Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation, Leon Basson, who has begun to raise this concern on a national level.
Residents who pay sky-high tariffs for services are entitled to receive those services.
Veronica van Dyk
DA Constituency Head for Namaqualand
083 236 2152
071 251 5558