National government heeds DA’s call to take over water crisis in NMB

01 Jun 2022 in Press Statements

With Day Zero looming within less than three weeks for large parts of Nelson Mandela Bay, the Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the fact that national government heeded our call for national intervention in the water crisis.

We note the announcement by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, that he has appointed the Amatola Water Board to urgently intervene and take over the municipality’s Water and Sanitation sub-directorate.

At the end of March this year, Minister Mchunu dissolved the Amatola Water Board and appointed an interim board for a period of five months. This followed instability and governance challenges at Amatola Water.

The DA will closely monitor the Amatola Water Board’s intervention in Nelson Mandela Bay and we hope that the interim board has brought stability to the entity.

On 18 May 2022 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 until this crisis has been mitigated. (see letter here)

This communication was also sent to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

It is predicted that the NMB storage dams will run dry within three 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.