While Gauteng Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements MEC, Paul Mashatile, is boasting about the success of his Back to Basics interventions in Merafong, municipal staff from the Water and Sanitation Department are on strike over unpaid overtime and violent altercations are erupting between staff and senior management.
The situation is compounded by the unavailability of diesel as a result of unpaid accounts.
The MEC must immediately intervene to ensure that Merafong residents have access to water and sanitation services while municipality workers are on strike.
Merafong residents, including schools and NGOs, have been hard hit by the strike that began on Monday.
Mohalieshoek and Welverdiend residents have not had any drinking water delivered to them since the strike started.
Our people cannot suffer because of the working dispute between the Merafong ANC-led administration and its workers.
Access to water and sanitation are basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution, and local residents cannot be deprived of such rights.
Despite the fact that water is now a scarce resource, clean water is flowing on the streets as a result of unattended water leakages and burst pipes.
Furthermore, there are allegations that the current large water leak in Onyx Drive is as a result of sabotage by the municipal workers themselves.
As much as the municipality workers are entitled to strike, they must be warned not to tamper with municipality facilities as such acts are criminal and cannot be tolerated.
The DA believes that the rendering of services to the community must be the first priority of any municipality.
MEC Mashatile must go back to the drawing board to assist Merafong with its chronic and severe cash flow problems that are contributing directly to the collapse of governance in Merafong.
The DA will continue to hold MEC Mashatile accountable to ensure that there is service delivery in Merafong.