As a result of an illegal strike by municipal employees, which came into effect last week Wednesday, taps have run dry in 7 Eastern Cape municipalities including towns such as Butterworth, Peddie, Fort Beaufort, Bedford, Adelaide, Komga and Alice.
The Democratic Alliance said that residents of local municipalities serviced by the Amathole District Municipality (ADM) are facing a humanitarian crisis due to the unavailability of water to most parts of the district.
According to DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, the situation in Amathole requires emergency intervention by the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Oscar Mbuyane.
“While these investigations commence, I call for the District Municipality to be declared bankrupt and dissolved to pave way for the election of a new council. The current council has failed dismally,” Bhanga said.
“The lack of water has a catastrophic effect on the ability of hospitals, clinics, hostels, schools, factories, the hospitality trade and smaller businesses to operate optimally.
Many have closed their doors and the negative impact on the local economy is immense.
More than 50 rural villages in the district have been without water for weeks and are totally reliant on water trucks.”
Bhanga said that the ADM is rife with maladministration.
“It is unable to pay salaries and increments and contribute to the medical aid of employees.
“Over the past 7 years senior management have undeservedly received salary increments, even though the ADM is bankrupt,” h explained.
“This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. The Premier has a choice to either continue burying his head in the sand while residents are exposed to potential disease outbreaks or he can take up my challenge to him and intervene directly to solve the crisis.”