By James Letuka, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
The below member statement was delivered by James Letuka (MPL) during a sitting of the Free State Provincial Legislature today.
Two weeks ago, MEC Butana Khomphela announced on radio that the province will implement water-shedding within four days.
This reckless statement caused much confusion and panic especially after the scheduled water-shedding never happened. This week government held a press conference in an attempt to assure the people that the situation is being monitored and that provincial water-shedding will not be implemented for the time being.
It is important for this ANC government to distinguish between the drought crisis and the water crisis. The drought is a natural phenomenon, the water crisis is purely man made.
The ANC-led government has been on a campaign blaming the drought for the causes of the water crisis, when in fact, it is more than a decade of poor water and sanitation infrastructure maintenance and slow to non-existent infrastructure expansion that is to blame.
ANC governed Free State municipalities lose between 25% and 75% of purified piped water due to pipe leaks before it even gets to people’s taps. In the DA governed City of Cape Town, piped water losses are at a mere 14.5%. The lowest of all metros in South Africa and on par with the best managed cities internationally.
The DA has been there warning the ANC government of the impending water crisis for many, many years.
South Africa has endured many droughts, but it has never had to contend with water-shedding like we now have to endure in Moqhaka Local Municipality and soon across the Free State.
To date this province has not come forward with a sound water management strategy. That is what the DA government in the Western Cape has done, many years ago, and water is being managed very successfully.