“Mitigation measures have been put in place for tenders from private companies to transport water to the area”
RESIDENTS in Van Wyksvlei, where the maximum temperature yesterday was 41 degrees Celsius, have been without water for four days.
According to the DA’s Reinette Liebenberg, the municipal manager at Kareeberg Municipality, Moggamat Manual, had informed the party that the SANDF trucks that were used to deliver water to communities in the area were not in working order due to poor road conditions.
“Mitigation measures have been put in place for tenders from private companies to transport water to the area,” Liebenberg said yesterday.
She added that it was unacceptable for communities to be denied the basic right of access to water and for Community Work Programme (CWP) workers to allegedly be forced to work in these harsh weather conditions with no access to water, or else suffer the consequence of not receiving their stipend.
“Local government needs to ensure that no more communities reach Day Zero. It is critical that a plan that involves transparency and constant communication with residents must be developed.”
Liebenberg meanwhile welcomed the recent announcement by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul that the five-year long drought had been declared a disaster and had committed to digging additional boreholes to provide water in various communities.
“We hope that the drought will be gazetted before the end of this week to ensure that the agricultural community receives the allocated funds to mitigate the extent of the drought on our Province,” Liebenberg stated.
According to Manual, a contractor was appointed yesterday to transport water from the mine in Copperton to Van Wyksvlei, a distance of around 75 to 80km. The mine is supplied with water from the Prieska Municipality.
Manual confirmed that there had been a problem with the defence force trucks due to the condition of the roads.
He stated that around 12 000 to 18 000 litres of water was transported in a single trip to the town and that as many trips as possible were made to ensure that there was sufficient water.
According to Manual, there were more than 10 boreholes providing water to the town but since the new year only one still had water as the others had all dried up.
“Some rain, about 13mm fell, last week, but this was not enough,” Manual stated.
He added that government assistance had been received to obtain a desalinator. “Some of the boreholes have water but the salt concentration is too high and it is not fit for human consumption.”