As the municipal workers’ strike continues unabated in Makhanda (Grahamstown), residents are being forced to live in conditions that are not even fit for animals, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said on Tuesday.
“While severe water leakages continue to plague the drought-stricken town, sewage has begun bubbling up out of manholes and running through the streets of the town,” described Jane Cowley (MPL), DA Frontier Constituency Leader.
“Municipal sewage pipes lie broken with polluted water running into the yards of private homes, exposing residents to enormous health risks.
“Private plumbers are unwilling to repair the damaged infrastructure, as they know that they will not be reimbursed by the failing ANC government of Makana.”
Cowley added that municipal workers failed to put sufficient chemicals in the drinking water last week, resulting in unacceptably high e-Coli levels in the water.
“Residents are rightfully nervous to drink municipal water, which means that in many homes, water is being bought for consumption. This is an added cost, especially in the homes of the unemployed,” she said.
“The MEC of COGTA, Fikile Xasa, needs to acknowledge that local government in the Eastern Cape has completely collapsed on his watch,” Cowley added.
“If the ANC had any integrity, they would have removed him from his position and appointed somebody capable of addressing the issues in Makhanda and many other failing municipalities across the province.
“Sadly, they are incapable of acting against their cadres and so the province continues the downward spiral towards complete municipal collapse.”
Cowley said that she has written to the MEC to demand that action be taken.
“I shall also ask my colleague in the National Assembly, Kevin Mileham, to continue highlighting the issues of Makhanda which he did so eloquently in Parliament last week.”