NMB water outages rob residents of their dignity and human rights

Issued by Masixole Zinto Cllr – DA NMB Spokesperson for Infrastructure and Engineering
02 Aug 2019 in Press Statements

Recent water outages in Nelson Mandela Bay prove that Mayor Cllr Mongameli Bobani and his failing coalition of corruption have no contingency plans when unexpected crises occur.

Areas in Uitenhage and Despatch have been without water for 6 days whilst reparations to a burst main water pipeline have been delayed due to the tragic death of a contract worker.

Lindile Makapela died on Monday afternoon when the trench he was working in was suddenly submerged in water.

The DA would like express its sincerest condolences to the family of Mr Makapela and wish them strength during this trying time.

Investigations by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Department of Labour are necessary, but the extended period of time it took to complete these investigations is unacceptable.

The department only released the site yesterday afternoon and prohibited workers from working last night. This determination sets a dangerous precedent as prohibiting emergency work at night will create massive service delivery issues in future.

Water is a basic human right and denying residents access to running water is therefore a gross violation of these rights.

Although water tankers were made available by the Municipality, these were not nearly enough. In future the Metro should look to neighbouring municipalities to assist in providing additional water trucks.

This crisis could have been avoided if the Member of Mayoral Committee for Infrastructure and Engineering, Cllr Andile Lungisa, and his department had spent the budget available to them on the maintenance and upgrading of water infrastructure.

We do, however, commend the municipal officials and all other site workers for their tireless efforts to restore supply to the affected areas.

Only a DA-led government can protect the human rights and dignity of residents and bring the change that will ensure the speeding up of service delivery.