ECape municipalities waste massive amount of water – FF Plus

Wouter Wessels says an estimated 113bn litres lost to leaks that were not fixed

Eastern Cape wastes billions of litres of water

11 October 2018

The government apparently has no control over water losses in the Eastern Cape that add up to more than 113 billion litres of water over the last financial year. Amid a serious drought, these water losses caused by mismanagement are totally unacceptable.

In the response to a parliamentary question by the FF Plus to the Minister of Cooperative Governance, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Department admits that during the 2017/2018 financial year, an enormous amount of water was lost due to leaks that were not fixed.

The wastage adds up to more than 309 million litres of water every day. (See question and answer attached).

From the Minister's answer, it can be gleaned that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality (Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage) was the biggest culprit as it allowed more than 48 billion litres of water to go to waste over the said period. On average, the Metro lost 131 million litres of water every day due to leaks during the course of the previous financial year.

A conservative estimate is that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro wasted R660 million worth of water due to inadequate upkeep and poor infrastructure management.

This wastage of water occurred amid a serious drought that has plagued the province over the last few years. While residents heeded the municipalities' requests to use water sparingly, the authorities themselves failed to address water losses caused by leakages.

If the leaks had been fixed, it would have provided much-needed relief during the difficult times.

That, however, did not happen. Instead, Eastern Cape residents suffered at the hands of municipal councils and a provincial and national government that are not committed to doing basic maintenance work.

Wherever the FF Plus is part of a multiparty government, service delivery improves. The successes in the Tshwane Metro Municipality speak for themselves. The Eastern Cape deserves an accountable government that utilises its resources so as to benefit the province and its people and not corrupt officials and politicians.

Issued by Wouter Wessels, FF Plus member of parliament and parliamentary spokesperson, Cooperative governance, 11 October 2018