DA requests Winburg to be declared disaster area

Peter Frewen MPL

DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature

The water supply in Winburg has reached a critical stage where the boreholes and dams are virtually dry due to the severe drought the Free State is experiencing. I have written to Cogta MEC, Ms Olly Mlamleli, requesting her to initiate the process that Winburg be declared a disaster area.

It is now necessary to transport water to Winburg which will cost an enormous amount of money. Declaring the Masilonyana municipality a disaster area would enable funds to be sourced from national Treasury. The municipality does not have the funds to pay for such an emergency operation. The effects of the drought are acerbated by the municipality’s poor water management  record and a deteriorating water infrastructure. Urgent intervention is needed to ensure that residents are not left high and dry.

Water supply in the following towns should also be monitored due to their dependence on boreholes and dams/rivers, Rouxville, Vanstadensrus, Wepener and Dewetsdorp, Boshoff, Dealesville, Hertzogville, Soutpan, Verkeerdevlei, Lindley, Arlington, Edenville and Rosendal and when required emergency measures also to be extended to these communities.

The ANC-led Free State government continues to fail in taking corrective action and implementing emergency measures to address the Free State’s water crisis.

The DA has repeatedly called for an intervention in the Free State’s water crisis, to the extent that we have approached the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate the provincial government’s failure in ensuring safe, clean and sustained water supply to communities.