DA welcomes council’s approval of national intervention plan for NMB water crisis

14 Jun 2022 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the fact that our request was heeded to have a senior official or expert from the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) seconded to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Today, 14 June 2022, a very productive council meeting took place after DA Cllr Heinrich Muller was elected as acting Speaker.

With Day Zero now on the Metro’s doorstep, council took the positive step to approve a national intervention plan proposed by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu.

This intervention plan includes the appointment of a specialist from the office of the Minister as the Acting Executive Director for Infrastructure and Engineering. This vacancy has been a huge stumbling block in successfully dealing with the water crisis in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Minister Mchunu recently also announced that he appointed the Amatola Water Board to take over the Water and Sanitation sub-directorate and to be the implementing agent of this intervention plan.

An oversight team including councillors from all parties was also established after the DA successfully amended the item before council today to include this oversight mechanism. The team will meet weekly to discuss the water crisis in the Metro, monitor projects as well as recommend any budgetary amendments required by council.

The DA has been calling for this kind of intervention since 18 May 2022, when I wrote to the Director-General of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and requested that a senior official or expert be seconded, not to act as an advisor, but to lead the sub-directorate for Water and Sanitation.

NMB’s storage dams will run dry within two weeks. Day Zero will prove to have disastrous consequences, as very few alternative plans, to provide water to at least a third of the Metro, have been communicated.

The ANC-led coalition government has proved incapable of dealing with this crisis and this intervention by national government will hopefully assist in saving our residents from total disaster.

The DA will do all it can to assist residents during this unprecedented drought, drawing from the best practice that our governments have already shown in drought disaster management.