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Not even half of water tanks earmarked for Sol Plaatje municipal area installed

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Of the 87 tanks allocated, only 34 have been installed.

Less than half of the water tanks provided for the Sol Plaatje municipal area have been installed.

This comes in the wake of a call by the joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation and of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements, which called for the immediate installation of all tanks to ensure provision of water to the people.

According to the Sol Plaatje Municipality of the 87 tanks that were earmarked for the city, only 34 have been installed so far. The Northern Cape received a total of 507 water tanks in total.

Executive Mayor, Patrick Mabilo, joined members of the Mayoral Committee, Speaker and councilors on local radio stations on Tuesday to update the community on service delivery related matters during the Covid-19 nationwide lockdown. 

Mabilo stated that the water tanks would remain in the areas even after the lockdown.

In a statement issued following a joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation and of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements, it was stated that 14 737 of 18 875 tanks had been delivered to all provinces in the country.

The committee, however, called for the immediate installation of all tanks to ensure provision of water to the people.

 “While the committees acknowledge the delivery of tanks, it is concerned that only about half of those delivered have been installed,” Machwene Semenya, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, said in the statement.

“After four weeks since the declaration of the disaster, only 7 689 tanks have been installed,” she stated.

“While we welcome the extent of the work done up to now, urgency is needed to ensure that all allocated tanks are operational,” she added.

 Both committees noted that many Members of Parliament highlighted that various areas were still without water, which impacted on the ability of residents to maintain the necessary hygiene. 

“We are of the view that the installation of all the allocated tanks will ensure that water provision is improved. We will require a weekly update on installation of these tanks, because delivery tanks alone is not enough; people must get water,” China Dodovu, the Chairperson of the Select Committee, added.

 Regarding human settlements, both committees also called for urgent measures to stop evictions, especially during this lockdown period. 

“It is unacceptable that municipalities have blatantly decided to ignore directives from national [government] and are continuing to evict people. This must be stopped urgently,” said Dodovu.   

Both committees also called for a system of checks and balances to ensure that procurement during this period was above board and unscrupulous people are stopped from looting state coffers.

Meanwhile, during Tuesday’s radio interview, Mabilo added that essential services continued to operate at the municipality and he urged residents to continue paying their municipal accounts.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have made the necessary payments at the Civic Centre, at the facility in Morgan Road and through EFT. Operating hours are from 08:00-12:00, from Mondays to Saturdays. The municipality will ensure regulations are adhered to and we thank all residents for their cooperation and patience during this time,” Mabilo added.