OPINION

Water supply strangled in Greater Harrismith - DA FState

Since November 2018 under 40% of required water has been delivered to residents and businesses

DA asks Premier Ntombela to declare Harrismith a disaster area

The Democratic Alliance has today written to Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, and various Government Ministers requesting that the Greater Harrismith be declared a disaster area, due to the collapse of the delivery of water.

Since November 2018, under 40% of the required water has been delivered to residents and businesses, many residents have received no water, farmers are supplying water in tankers, and businesses and industries are struggling to remain open.

The causes of this disaster are the fact that the Wilge River water level is too low for pumping, and MaP Water is unable to get enough water from the Nuwejaar Spruit pump station to the Wilge Water Treatment Plant because of a too small bulk water pipeline, breaking pumps, bursting pipes and a lack of equipment and resources. In addition to these problems, there have been two incidents of sabotage to electricity installations serving the pump stations.

The DA is requesting that a disaster be declared to enable additional finances to be allocated to provide water tankers, the upgrade of some infrastructure, security to protect critical water infrastructure, and to fund operations including equipment and parts for MaP Water.

We reiterate our call that those found interfering in the water supply systems be charged under the ‘Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Activities Act’ of 2004, the ‘Terror Act’.

Maluti-a-Phofung was looted and plundered under the previous leadership of ANC Mayor Vusi Tshabalala, leaving the municipality bankrupt and unable to cope with the current crisis. We are therefore calling on Provincial and National government to intervene.

Harrismith does not have a total lack of water, enough water is available, but rather there is a lack of financial resources and capacity to effectively manage our water supply systems.

A drastic intervention is needed to avert a human tragedy, including job losses, increased unemployment and poverty levels, should businesses and industries be forced to close down.

The failing ANC have failed to provide water, the most basic of human and economic requirements, because of corruption and looting. Only the DA can bring change that builds One South Africa for All by speeding up the delivery of quality services.

Statement issued by Leona Kleynhans, DA Free State MPL, 7 July 2019