NMB Water Crisis: 40 days to Day Zero for a large portion of the Metro

26 Apr 2022 in Press Statements

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Cllr Dries van der Westhuizen.

In less than 40 days, two of the most critical dams that supply Nelson Mandela Bay with water will be empty, leaving a third of the Metro without water.

The Churchill and Impofu dams, currently at a combined capacity of only 13,12%, are set to be depleted by the end of May leaving large parts of the City without water.

Days from disaster and the ANC-led Coalition of Chaos is yet to reveal its plans as to what exactly will happen when our dams run dry.

Whilst NMB has over the last couple of years spent a significant amount of its budget on drought mitigation and water augmentation projects, many of these projects are still far from complete.

The Metro currently consumes 275 Ml of water a day.  Should the dams run dry, the metro will be left with a supply of just 200 Ml a day, mostly from the Nooitgedacht Low Level Scheme that brings water from the Orange-Fish scheme into the Metro.

Although the Metro has already mooted that water shedding will be on the cards soon, no details have been revealed about the actual plan to deal with the unfolding disaster.  More disturbingly, speculation is rife that large parts of the Metro may not be able to receive any potable water at all when the Churchill and Impofu run dry.

The DA has written to the City Manager and demanded that an urgent, up-to-date, detailed and accurate briefing be given on the Metro’s state of preparedness for Day Zero. The residents of Nelson Mandela Bay has the right to know whether we are prepared for the worst possible crisis that could hit this Metro. (see letter here)

A letter has also been sent to the Executive Mayor requesting her to appoint an acting Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) to take charge of this committee that is responsible for calling meetings of the Infrastructure and Engineering portfolio committee. The present MMC is a member of the Northern Alliance and the uncertainty of his position in Council is severely affecting the functioning of this critical portfolio. (see letter here)

Next week we will also announce further steps to force the municipality’s hand, and to ensure that residents, businesses, schools and hospitals know exactly what they are facing, and exactly how the municipality intends dealing with the situation.

The DA will not hesitate to do whatever it takes to ensure that residents are not left high and dry in this time of need. We will also approach national government, who is responsible for bulk water provision to request direct intervention.