Bosman Grobler MPL
Spokesperson for COGTA
It has come to the attention of the DA that the critical maintenance and repairs required on the uSuthu water supply network have been postponed for three weeks.
The DA is highly concerned about this last minute postponement, as it leaves residents of Kriel and Thubelihle in the cold. A project like the one mentioned has huge implications for both the municipality and the residents.
The municipality has gone to great lengths to put contingency plans in place to ensure that residents experience as little discomfort as possible during this time. The days and hours of planning and implementing will now need to be repeated as nobody is sure when exactly the outage will be.
Currently 40 Water tankers have already been put in place and 20 mobile water tankers were ready to start delivering this morning. There is a huge cost implication to move the 40 water tankers into storage again as well as the cancellation fee on the 20 moving water tankers. The DA is concerned about the fact that the Emalahleni municipality, which is already short on funds and capacity, has now wasted valuable resources and time, just to have the plans postponed.
Even more distressing is the inconvenience to residents because of this poor planning. The DA is aware of elderly residents who decided to take a 3 week holiday in order not to have to live carrying buckets of water around. Because of the late announcement the risk is now real that these residents might return and be in the middle of the dry tap period. Other residents have also planned their lives around the fact that the next 3 weeks will be dry ensuring that the impact is as low as possible.
The DA is concerned about the fact that residents of Ga-Nala have to go without water in their taps for 18 days. It is however incomprehensible to expect residents to live their lives without being able to plan for an inconvenient period such as this. The uncertainty of when, where and how long the water maintenance project will be, must be very troubling to citizens of the area.
The DA hereby calls on the administrator of the Emalaheni local municipality to engage with waterworks and get absolute clarity on exactly when and for how long the water outage will be. This will enable the already inconvenienced residents to plan their lives around this. The DA further calls on Mr van Vuuren to ensure that maintenance and repairs takes place during this fixed period, to enable residents to carry on with their lives.