The extended water outages in many communities in the Amathole District Municipality (ADM) are now affecting free and low-cost healthcare services to the rural and poor people of the area.
Communities across the district are currently struggling with unsanitary conditions due to the municipality’s inability to deal with an illegal strike by its workers, who are allegedly causing the water outages by sabotaging water infrastructure.
Fort Beaufort has been without water for more than a week and this has led to the Transnet-Phelophepa train, which travels to rural communities to provide free and low-cost healthcare, threatening to leave the station a week prior to its scheduled departure.
The train arrived in Fort Beaufort on 8 August and was scheduled to depart on 19 August.
I have been informed that the lack of water has now created an unsanitary situation which would make it impossible for staff on the train to provide medical care.
The ADM has also delayed the issuing of a sewage and waste disposal permit for the train.
These rural people have to travel great distances to get access to healthcare and in some cases have no healthcare facilities at their disposal.
I will now call on the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Oscar Mabuyane, to urgently intervene and make water available to ensure that the train does need leave the station.
The DA will not stand by and watch the ADM’s uncaring ANC government place the health of our rural and impoverished communities at risk.