By James Letuka, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
The Moqhaka Local Municipality, which includes the communities of Kroonstad, Maokeng, Steynsrus, Matlwangtlwang, Viljoenskroon and Rammulotsi, has become the first municipality to implement water-shedding.
The schedule for water-shedding as announced by the municipality is as follows:
- Steynsrus and Matlwangtlwang from 20:00 to 18:00 (8pm to 6pm) Monday to Monday;
- Viljoenskroon and Rammulotsi from 18:00 to 04:00 (6pm to 4am) from Sunday to Friday;
- Kroonstad and Maokeng from 20:00 to 04:00 (8pm to 4am) from Sunday to Friday
This comes just days after the National Minister for Water Affairs and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, declared that South Africa will never implement water-shedding. This was the same narrative used before ESKOM began implementing load-shedding earlier this year.
It is quite clear that the ANC government can no longer be trusted.
The Moqhaka Municipality blames the lack of rain, the drought and an increased demand for water for the implementation of water-shedding. This is nothing but an attempt by the ANC cover up the real reasons behind implementing water-shedding measures.
The ANC-led government’s wilful neglect of maintenance and expansion of water and sanitation infrastructure, coupled with the failure to implement a comprehensive water management strategy to conserve and plan for increased water demand, has brought us to this point in time where people now have to contend with water-shedding.
Government has repeatedly been warned, by the DA as well as a range of other organisations, of the impending water crisis over the last ten years. Had government paid heed and implemented a programme of maintenance and expansion of the water and sanitation infrastructure, as well as implementing a comprehensive strategy to manage water resources more effectively, there would today have been no need for the implementation of drastic measures like water-shedding.
Access to clean and dependable water supply is a basic Human Right. Water-shedding plays dangerously close to violating this Right.
Water is also a crucial resource for agriculture and industry. The implementation of water-shedding will negatively impact on the Moqhaka local economy which may result in job losses and it further threatens food security.
The DA will monitor the situation in the Free State closely to ensure that government mobilises all resources at its disposal to limit the impact of the water crisis in the province.
The DA calls on all the people of the Free State to use water wisely.
The people of the Free State will have an opportunity to vote for the DA in next year’s municipal elections. The DA is the only party that can stem the tide of crises brought about by the ANC’s poor track record in governance. The time for change has come.