Kouga has run dry due to NMB incompetence

13 Jun 2022 in Press Statements

Please find attached a soundbite in English by Retief Odendaal, MPL.

The Kouga Municipality has from today, 13 June 2022, been forced to start with water shedding. This unfortunate situation could have been avoided altogether if Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) had not wilfully mismanaged the bulk water sources in both the Churchill and Impofu dams.

Although NMB was restricted by the Department of Water and Sanitation to only extract a maximum of 30 Ml of water a day from the Churchill and Impofu Dams, the metro continued to recklessly extract between 90-100 Ml from them per day-three times the restricted maximum.

This has resulted in NMB fast-tracking Day Zero for Kouga and itself- a situation that could have been avoided altogether if the metro stuck to the restrictions.

On Friday, 10 June 2022, the Kouga Municipality announced that it has no choice but to implement water shedding on Monday, 13 June 2022, due to the fact that the level of the Churchill Dam dropped to below 10%. The Mayor of the Kouga Municipality, DA Cllr Horatio Hendricks said, “We have been trying to delay the need for water shedding, but the situation is critical, and we cannot avoid it any longer”.

The DA believes that the wilful recklessness of NMB has exposed both municipalities and their residents to adverse risk. It also highlights the fact that NMB cannot be trusted with the responsibility of controlling bulk water.

The DA will lobby that in future NMB does not have control over the bulk water extraction from Churchill or Impofu dams. It is clear that extraction from these dams must be controlled in a similar fashion than at the Kouga Dam, where an irrigation board controls the release of bulk water.

Although Kouga has always been heavily dependent on water from both the Churchill and Impofu Dams, this DA-run municipality has worked around the clock to ensure that it is prepared for Day Zero.

The following measures have been implemented to mitigate the effects of Day Zero:

  • More than R200 million spent on drought mitigation water augmentation.
  • 38 viable boreholes connected in total to date.
  • R12,5 million recently secured from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to develop and equip four further boreholes in Humansdorp.
  • Water tanks installed at Hankey, Pellsrus Hall, Aston Bay Hall, Jeffreys Bay Fire Station and the St Francis Bay Fire Station
  • Water-flow restrictors installed at the homes of 200 high-water users across the region.

Although the water shedding is unfortunate, Kouga residents can take comfort in the knowledge that their municipality is far better prepared for Day Zero than their neighbours in NMB.

The DA will however continue to fight for the people of Kouga by lobbying that an irresponsible NMB does not control the bulk water extraction from Churchill and Impofu in the future. The continued reckless behaviour of this irresponsible municipality cannot continue to compromise water security in our region indefinitely.