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The Democratic Alliance requested the Dawid Kruiper municipality to urgently investigate the use of solar power to help ensure sustainable and affordable water provision to communities in and around Upington.
This comes after a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), of which the DA is in support, was recently entered into between the Kalahari-West Water Board and the municipality. The MOU sees the water board sponsoring the up-front procurement of two generators.
One generator will ensure that desperate stock farmers have adequate access to water to keep their animals alive, regardless of the disruptive effect of loadshedding on water supply. This is essential given that not long ago, with recurring implementation of level 6 loadshedding, farming enterprises almost collapsed due to the intermittent water shortages as a result of water pumps that did not work.
The other generator will service the area of Paballello, which is frequently affected by loadshedding induced water shortages.
Given the essential need for continuous water provision, the DA wants to ensure that the use of the generators remains sustainable. This is particularly important in respect of the monthly procurement of diesel, which will add pressure to the municipality’s already tight budget. While diesel costs must be accommodated for, we also need to see how best the municipality can reduce the additional fuel costs, through the supplementation of solar power.
Upington is central to the renewable energy sector in the province. For this reason, the municipality must also seek innovative clean energy solutions where possible. The municipality has accepted the DA’s request and we are awaiting feedback on the municipality’s enquiry.
The DA thanks Kalahari-West Water Board for the leading role they have played in helping to resolve municipal challenges caused by rolling blackouts. Their commitment to get things working and sustain what we have is encouraging and must be met with a parallel commitment from the municipality.
Issued by Flip Van Der Steen, Cllr - DA Whip, Dawid Kruiper Municipality
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