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The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality (MaP) is concerned over MaP Water's repeated failure to secure a safe and dependable backup water supply. On Wednesday, 26 September, residents received sudden news of dwindling water levels at the Wilge Weir, the primary source for the Wilge Water Treatment Plant. This announcement left residents in a predicament, as MaP Water urged them to conserve water and repair leaky taps. Ironically, MaP Water itself has a poor track record of addressing water leaks, both large and small, in the Greater Harrismith area.
To compound matters, MaP Water falsely reassured residents that water tankers would be dispatched, despite their inability to supply areas without running water, let alone vast regions that should have a consistent water supply. Residents were informed that the Nuwejaarspruit pump station will supply water but remains under construction. This pump station will play a critical role in pumping water from the Sterkfontein Dam to the Wilge Water Treatment Plant during droughts when the Wilge River runs dry. Shockingly, the pump station was vandalised years ago and should have been promptly refurbished.
The DA finds the delay in refurbishment completely unacceptable as the refurbishment project only commenced on 18 September, with an estimated completion date in December. This leaves Greater Harrismith residents without water for several weeks. We are committed to closely monitoring the project's progress and exerting necessary pressure to ensure timely completion. Access to water is a fundamental human right, and MaP Water's failure to fulfil its constitutional obligations is unacceptable. Additionally, we reiterate its longstanding call for Maluti-a-Phofung to be placed under provincial administration in accordance with Section 139(7) of the Constitution. This is imperative as both the municipality and its subsidiary, MaP Water, consistently fail to meet even the most basic requirements.
Issued by Eleanor Quinta - DA Councillor Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality