By Cllr. Willie Louwrens, DA Constituency Chairperson, Matlosana:
The Democratic Alliance is concerned that ignorance and negligence by the Matlosana Council to pay attention to warnings by the DA about the poor management and maintenance of an old reservoir in Stilfontein now might cause major damage.
The DA warned on numerous occasions over the past few years that the water leaks will contribute to sink holes. In mining areas the dolomite rock, if exposed to water for long periods, dissolves.
Sinkholes now appeared over the last ten days, around the old damaged reservoir and unused dam. It not only caused ground damage, but also damaged the main water line transporting water to Klerksdorp.
Residents are informed to be patient with the poor water pressure and supply, but none of the residents adjacent to the reservoir were warned of the potential risks. Ironically enough, a council house next to the water tower has been evacuated.
A public notice explaining water supply problems only mentions: Geological assessments by specialists are currently underway and repairs will resume after assessment report indicating the impact of the sinkholes is released.
This is downplaying the risks involved for the community. It seems as if the municipality’s main concern is to rather inform people to use water sparingly.
The Matlosana Municipality replied to written questions, in February this year, this specific reservoir and the dam next to it will have to be demolished, but said this will only happen when there are funds available.
Letters from the DA to the Administrator Seth Ramagaga also had no impact to pay attention to this serious matter.
The DA Deputy Shadow Minister for Water and Sanitation, Leon Basson wrote an urgent letter last night to the Director General of Water Affairs, requesting immediate intervention, again warning against a possible disaster if this old tower should collapse. The DG acknowledged receipt of the letter and said they will attend to the matter.