By Ina Cilliers MPL, DA Constituency Head: Merafong:
The Democratic Alliance, after sustained pressure, was approached by the Gauteng Legislature’s public participation unit to make written submissions regarding the escalating water crisis in Merafong.
Last week the portfolio committee for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affair (COGTA) held a public hearing meeting in Khutsong to discuss the Disaster Management Amendment Bill.
DA councillors in attendance called on the committee to have Merafong declared a disaster zone due to the unbaiting high volumes of water wastage.
More than 52% of water in Merafong is lost every month due to ageing and deteriorating structures, despite the local municipality insisting that they have a water loss management plan.
These water leaks are not isolated, but are spread across the municipality. The Khutsong hostel has been without water for over six months.
This crisis is compounded by the fact that the region is situated on dolomitic land, which exposed to constant water leaks, is susceptible to massive sink holes emerging, ultimately placing thousands of residents at serious risk.
It is encouraging that the Chairperson of the committee, Mphatla Tseki, showed a great deal of concern for the situation – however immediate action must be taken to resolve this issue.
The DA remains adamant that COGTA MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, institute a provincial intervention in terms of Section 139(5) of the Constitution.