Dacre Haddon MPL
Shadow MEC for Local Government
Poorly managed municipal water supply in the Sundays River Valley has left 45 000 people without water and will ultimately have an effect on this year’s citrus crop, which in turn will effect employment sustainability.
There is a grave water crisis in the Sundays River Valley caused by municipal inefficiency.
Some 20 000 people were left without water in Addo, Valencia and Nanathansanqa since last Friday (10 May 2013) due to problems with removing mud at Caesars dam. The supply was only restored this morning after a visit by myself and DA-councillor Stef Delport to the area yesterday.
In addition, the community of Kleinpoort have had sporadic water interruptions for long periods since January this year due to inefficient maintenance and management.
Furthermore, some 25 000 people have been affected in Kirkwood, Aqua Park, Bergsig and Moses Mabida due to the shortage of Ultraflock at the local water treatment works. This resulted in the plant being shut down yesterday afternoon.
In a desperate attempt in try to save the situation, DA-councillor Karin Smith found a few litres of the chemical which will only give a short term relief to these communities.
I have submitted questions for oral reply, which the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, will have to answer in the House at the next sitting of the Provincial Legislature on 5 June 2013. I want to know from him what urgent plans are in place to ensure a sustained water supply to the Sundays River Valley Municipality.
I am also writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Traditional Affairs in the Legislature to request for an oversight visit to this municipality.
As the Sundays River Valley is the second largest foreign exchange revenue earner after the motor industry in this province, it is negligent and criminal to allow water supply, which is the lifeline of the citrus industry, to be managed in a ham-fisted fashion.
A haphazard, poorly managed water supply which will severely affect the citrus crop for this financial year will also have a devastating effect of employment sustainability and job creation in this area. The municipality is playing with fire! We need water to out this fire!