Nelson Mandela Bay is currently in the grip of a devastating drought, that has seen the combined dam levels supplying the Metro drop below 20%.
These dams also supply Kouga Municipality with water.
Despite this, the previous ANC-led government in Nelson Mandela Bay failed to spend conditional grants given to the city for drought mitigation measure, totalling R188 million rand.
This occurred during its two years in government from 2018 to 2020. National Treasury has subsequently refused to roll over these funds.
Meanwhile, the DA led Kouga Municipality spent their allocation of R 151 million timeously and without any corruption involved. This ensured that the coastal towns of Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and even Humansdorp will be able to draw ground water from boreholes should the dams run dry.
“Funding to tackle the drought is not a nice to have, it is a must have to safeguard water security in the Metro and to avoid a possible Day Zero. Access to water is also a basic human right and this cannot be denied the residents of the City.
If the request is not granted, it will mean the municipality will have to redirect funding from other critical projects, and will put further financial strain on the Metro, which has been run into the ground by the ANC and its partners,” said Retief Odendaal, the DA Provincial Shadow MEC of Finance..
“It is unacceptable that the residents of the Metro have to suffer due to the mismanagement of the previous ANC government.
I have also engaged with the Metro’s MMC for Budget and Treasury, DA Cllr Malcolm Figg, to look at what funding can be prioritised to ensure water availability.
Water is life and the DA will not stop fighting to ensure that the constitutional right of residents to have access to water is protected,” added Odendaal.