Meeting to be held to discuss Cape Town water crisis

DA warns that Minister of Water and Sanitation may be summoned to Parliament

Joint meeting to be held to discuss work done for Cape Town water crisis

30 January 2018

Cape Town - A joint meeting between various stakeholders is expected to be held within the next few days to discuss the work done thus far to assist Capetonians during the water crisis.

And the DA has warned, in a statement, that Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane may be summoned to Parliament.

The party's water and sanitation spokesperson Leon Basson said Mokonyane must avail herself as this was of national relevance and it must be treated with the urgency it deserves.

"This is an opportunity for minister Mokonyane to show leadership and become part of the solution which will seek to find a consolidated plan on the way forward."

Mokonyane's spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

'Playing politics'

Responding to the claims that Mokonyane could be summoned to Parliament, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation Lulu Johnson said the DA was "playing politics".

He said DA chief whip John Steenhuisen wrote to him and, out of respect, he responded in a professional manner.

"When anybody writes to you, you have to respond and, for anybody to take that as a political point, won't take us anywhere," Johnson said.

"They mustn't play politics because we don't play politics in that committee. We have everything done, and respect each other and allow each other to express their views on all the issues relating to what we are dealing with."

Water consumption in the city is currently around 600 megalitres (ml) a day - 350ml from households and 250ml from commerce and industry. To avoid declaring Day Zero, the City [of Cape Town] is urging people to "save or queue".

Points of distribution

If Day Zero arrives - which is scheduled for April 12 at the current rate of water consumption - taps will be closed and only certain sectors will have access to water.

On Sunday, the City revealed that it had already cleared 186 points of distribution, known as Pods, so that, when the dams that feed its water supply reach 13.5%, it will declare Day Zero and kick into emergency water supply mode.

The average level of dams that supply the city is now at 26.8%.

The joint meeting is expected to be held on Tuesday, February 6 and stakeholders are expected to address Parliament on work done so far to alleviate the plight of Capetonians during the water crisis.

Stakeholders include Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Senzeni Zokwana, the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Anton Bredell and Deputy Mayor of Cape Town Ian Neilson.