Residents in Khatu and Olifantshoek have, since September last year, contiued to experience severe water cuts that stretch for over two weeks at a time
AFTER five months, there seems to be no end in sight to the Gamagara Municipality water crisis, as the Northern Cape towns of Kathu and Olifantshoek continue to suffer severe water cuts.
The DA in the Northern Cape said yesterday that it would escalate its call to the Minister of Co-operative Governance, Zweli Mkhize, for an urgent intervention in the Gamagara water crisis.
“We are calling on him to urgently see to it that water supply to the people of Gamagara is restored and sustained. This comes as residents in Kathu and Olifantshoek have, since September last year, continued to experience severe water cuts that stretch for over two weeks at a time,” DA provincial leader Andrew Louw said yesterday.
Louw added that the DA had made similar requests to the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, on three separate occasions last year.
“To date, however, provincial and local government continue to turn a blind eye to the issue of outstanding debt of R14 million owed to Sedibeng Water, and in turn the growing water crisis in Gamagara. In effect, no one is assuming responsibility and accountability for the water crisis. The failing ANC government is depriving the residents of their constitutional right to water. The people of Gamagara deserve so much better,” Louw stated.
He went on to claim that DA councillors have tried to promote a plan to get water from a Bestwood borehole but that the ANC provincial administration at the Department of Water Affairs have refused to lift the water licence restrictions.
“The DA is now supporting residents of Gamagara, who have started gathering signatures on a petition that they plan to hand over to the mayor of the municipality. Unfortunately, however, given that not even last year’s volatile protests could spark the failing ANC government into action, we have little hope that this call for help will bear much fruit either.
“In the short term, this municipality still desperately needs an independently appointed administrator to solve its dismal financial woes. The only long-term solution, however, is to vote the ANC government out of power, in all spheres of government.
“Only change under a DA-led government, which has proven itself to be efficient and effective in places where it does govern, can bring back service delivery and secure a clean and sustainable water supply to all the people of the Northern Cape and the country at large,” Louw concluded.