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Some areas of city still without water


A council meeting will be held at Sol Plaatje Municipality on Monday morning to discuss the water shutdown, with some areas of the city and schools still without water.

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A COUNCIL meeting will be held at Sol Plaatje Municipality on Monday morning to discuss the water shutdown, with some areas of the city and schools still without water.

An emergency water shutdown took place from August 9 to 14 in order for the municipality to conduct repair work.

An informal special council meeting that was convened for 3pm on Friday, upon request of the DA, was aborted after councillors walked out of the meeting due to the absence of the municipal manager, whose whereabouts could not be established.

Municipal water services and compliance manager Mkhize Sabelo was expected to brief council.

Sol Plaatje executive mayor Kagisho Sonyoni also stormed out of the meeting and stated that he could not be held accountable.

“It is not about the mayor,” he retorted.

The Speaker, Nomizizi Maputle, explained that she had requested the meeting to be held at noon on Friday.

“The municipal manager was conducting interviews and indicated that he should be done by 2pm. The council meeting was then arranged for 3pm.”

ANC councillors who walked out of the meeting called for a postponement as they stated that it could not continue without the municipal manager, who was the project manager of the water shutdown.

GOOD councillor Elizabeth Johnson, who also walked out of the meeting, stated that the municipal manager was undermining council by not attending the meeting.

“Many people are still waiting for water. I didn’t see the municipal manager during the shutdown at Newton reservoir or at the Riverton water purification plant.”

DA councillor Elize Niemann stated that it was unacceptable that some residents were still without water after 10 days.

“The mayor informed everyone that water had successfully been restored, whereas this is not the case.”

DA councillor Heinrich Pieterse requested that they be provided with the necessary information so that they could inform affected residents about what the delays to restoration were.

“We request that water be provided to them until their water supply is restored.”

DA councillor Christopher Whittaker added that water was essential for every single resident.

“It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is. The DA will not rest until we have answers to our questions and will do what we can to ensure that reliable water supply is restored to residents,” he stated.

Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nocci) president Dudley Dally believed there was a lack of expertise to repair and maintain the city’s infrastructure.

“The municipality did not even consider a meeting with business to outline the tasks and what they propose to execute on the repairs. No mention was made regarding repairs to major water leaks on the 965-millimetre pipeline that runs behind Roodepan and Lerato Park, where the water was forming dams. This section of the pipeline is the area where major leaks re-occur. No mention was made of repairs at Newton reservoir.”

He questioned the budget and cost of the operation as well as the names of the contractors involved.

“The real problem is at Riverton water treatment works. The high-lift pumps are not actually operational. Kimberley can expect many shutdowns over the next few months as the proposed work was not completed.”

The CEO of Nocci, Sharon Steyn, stated that while business was fully aware of the old and ageing pipes, the municipality did not seem any closer to resolving the city’s water problems.

“Every few months there is a water shutdown, while the water situation appears to be getting worse and is costing taxpayers millions of rand.

“It is of great concern that the municipality does not take the concerns of business and residents seriously.”

ANC councillors and Sol Plaatje executive mayor Kagisho Sonyoni walked out of a council meeting on Friday. Picture: Sandi Kwon Hoo
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