EC Premier and MEC must intervene in Amathole District water crisis

Issued by Cllr Jean Lombard – DA Amathole Caucus Leader
05 Aug 2022 in Press Statements

Extended water outages have left many communities in the Amathole District high and dry due to the municipality’s inability to deal with an illegal strike by its workers.

It is alleged that these workers have been sabotaging water infrastructure, which is the root cause of the outages across the Amathole District Municipality (ADM).

In Butterworth taps ran dry on Tuesday, with Komga having no water since Wednesday. Adelaide and Fort Beaufort have been without water since yesterday.

Despite these outages, the municipality has not given feedback on what plans are being put in place to mitigate this disaster.

I have written to the EC Premier, Lubabalo Mabuyane, and EC MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Xolile Nqatha, to request immediate intervention.

We will also escalate the matter to the DA EC Shadow MEC for COGTA, Vicky Knoetze, MPL, to take the matter up in the provincial legislature.

The municipality is currently leaderless and has no mayor, speaker or chief whip – as they were recently removed from their positions by the ANC. An acting district manager and many acting directors are trying to keep the ship afloat but are failing miserably.

Clinics, hospitals, schools and businesses are being negatively impacted, and the lack of water will keep on destroying the local economy in this poverty-stricken district.

We cannot allow residents to be held to ransom over managerial matters, which result in conflict between the representative unions, SAMWU and IMATU, and the ADM management.

The DA is demanding that the ADM releases a statement to inform residents about the state of the current water crisis and provide plans to address the issue. Water services must be commenced immediately.

The DA will not stand by and watch the ADM’s uncaring ANC government deprive residents of their basic human right to water