DA: Ndlambe Municipality must step up and address water crisis

Democratic Alliance Frontier Constituency Leader, MP Kevin Mileham said the party was extremely concerned at the lack of urgency around the water crisis in the Ndlambe Local Municipality.

Ndlambe Municipality water tankers have been extracting water from hydrants in parts of town that still have water, to be able to deliver water to other parts of town that have been without water for nearly two weeks Picture: JON HOUZET

“The situation requires a constant stream of water tankers to ensure residents of Port Alfred receive at least some water,” Mileham said in a statement today.

“The municipality, who must provide residents with water, is not providing extensive information, concrete plans or timelines to the residents of Port Alfred, Alexandria, Bushman’s River and Kenton on Sea.”

A public meeting regarding the water crisis, which will be attended by the municipality, will take place on Tuesday January 14 at 5.30pm in the Port Alfred Civic Centre.

Mileham said among the questions not answered by the municipality are:

  • What is the situation regarding the incomplete, non-functional reverse osmosis plant in Port Alfred?
  • What is being done to find new water supply resources?
  • What is the timetable for water tanker deliveries?
  • Have Gift of the Givers been approached to assist?

He provided some answers from the DA:

  • The reverse osmosis plant is owned and being constructed by the Amatola Water Board and is not under the control of the municipality. The plant is currently designed to clean the water coming from the Sarel Hayward dam, and cannot desalinate salt water.
  • The Ndlambe Mayor, Municipal Manager and Director: Infrastructure and other drought-stricken Eastern Cape municipalities met with the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, on Monday. The Minister committed R300 million to assist drought-stricken Eastern Cape municipalities. Ndlambe has submitted a business case and it is likely to receive an equitable proportion of this amount. Among the proposals for Ndlambe are a new desalination plant (providing 2ML per day) at the end of Wharf Street on the Kowie River in Port Alfred, new boreholes between Port Alfred and Bathurst, and a borehole on the West Bank of Port Alfred.
  • Water tanker deliveries commence at 10.45am daily, at Flame Lily Terraces in Port Alfred, and will follow a set route: Flame Lily Terraces, NG Kerk on Broadway, Kelly’s Beach, in front of the Highlander, Corner of Wood and High Streets, Horton Road in front of Sunset Park and Emerald Heights. Residents are requested to bring their own containers. Detailed times for each stop are not available.
  • Gift of the Givers will attend next week’s Joint Operations Committee (JOC) meeting.

“The DA remains committed to ensuring that information regarding the Ndlambe water crisis is communicated effectively and the matter is dealt with urgently. We urge residents to use water sparingly and to re-use water where they can,” Mileham said.

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