The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants Sedibeng investigated to determine whether the water board is capable of managing Nama Khoi municipality’s water supply. This comes after Sedibeng failed to avoid a highly preventable water crisis that affected 14 towns. They subsequently also failed to restore sustainable water supply.
Sedibeng failed to heed numerous flood alerts and warnings by DA councillor Wouter Jordaan, to lift the pumps at Henkries amidst rising water levels. In effect, the pumps were emersed in water on Saturday, 6th February 2021, cutting off water supply to thousands of residents and causing a significant amount of fresh water to be lost to sea.
Despite the municipality claiming that the pumps are back in full operation, the taps more often than not, remain dry. Subsequent mismanagement of the water system, including clogging of the pumps due to mud, as well as failure to attend to pipe-related issues, has further aggravated the situation.
In the meantime, neither Sedibeng nor the Nama Khoi municipality are adequately communicating with residents on the water crisis. We want to see an improved communication system between residents, the municipality and Sedibeng that can be relied on. At the very least, residents deserve to be kept informed of what time water will be cut.
While Cllr Jordaan has received a reference number (ref: NC/2021/0107) for the DA’s complaint to the South African Human Rights Commission regarding the violation of residents’ right to access to water, we cannot simply leave the matter here.
What has happened to Namaqualand’s water, under the management of Sedibeng, is very serious indeed.
The DA will submit a request to the Minister of Water, Lindiwe Sisulu, to institute an investigation into Sedibeng’s mismanagement of Nama Khoi’s water.
Water is a scarce and critical resource. It needs to be managed with excellence and responsibility.
Issued by The DA