NEWS & ANALYSIS

Nothing scandalous about water saving system at Leeuwenhof - Office of WCape Premier

Michael Mpofu says TimesLive report astounding, malicious and just plainly incorrect

DEFAMATORY TMG ARTICLE ON WATER SAVINGS DISMISSED

The TimesLive Website currently carries a defamatory and factually incorrect article regarding water savings measures at Leeuwenhof, the state-owned official residence for all serving Premiers of the Western Cape.

The article falsely claims that Premier Helen Zille is personally benefitting from a water savings system to tap natural water streams under Table Mountain. Leeuwenhof is public property - it is not Nkandla.

Tapping into natural streams flowing under Table Mountain is an important water supply measure in provincial water plans. The City of Cape Town has formally announced plans to tap 100 million litres per day from groundwater in the coming months. The provincial government is also currently enabling water supply projects across the province, with boreholes as a key measure.

For TimesLive to assert that a borehole is somehow a scandal is astounding, malicious and just plainly incorrect. Would TMG rather that this water flow to the sea?

The Premier has pioneered the use of natural underground water sources at Leeuwenhof, as well as strict household water savings measures, including re-using water and best-practice daily prudence in all household routines.

The Premier has personally driven the idea of a borehole system for best practice water usage on the property, as many households are currently doing under the Western Cape’s worst drought in 100 years. An application is currently before the City of Cape Town to approve the safety standards of the underground water system at Leeuwenhof, as per municipal by-laws.

We reject with contempt the totally speculative and malicious calculations of TimesLive on water usage per individual at Leeuwenhof. They have recklessly done so without any of the correct facts available to them to make this calculation. Correct figures showing the exact opposite of the article’s assertion will be released to the public by the provincial Department of Public Works.

We are approaching the editorial team at TMG for an explanation of how this flawed and defamatory article managed to pass their internal checks.

As an authority currently conducting Drought Disaster interventions, we are deeply concerned at the incorrect message being sent to the public by TMG, who attempt to scandalise groundwater usage, an important water savings and supply measure during the current crisis.

Statement issued by Michael Mpofu, Spokesperson for Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, 15 September 2017