#GautengWaterCrisis: DA is not looking for votes Minister Mchunu, we want to ensure that the basic right of access to water is not compromised by incompetency

The incompetent and inefficient Rand Water has on several occasions failed to communicate timeously to the residents of Gauteng through their municipalities about the planned water outages due to the maintenance of water infrastructure.

Based on two previous occasions where our residents were abrupt left without water earlier this year, it raised concern for the DA. This is because the situation was not effectively communicated by Rand Water and therefore, we had no choice but to put pressure on the government to ensure that such instances were not repeated.

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu is now trying to deflect the seriousness of the situation by saying that the DA has caused panic among Gauteng residents. However, the fact that they have delayed the planned scheduled maintenance from 1-3 April 2022 shows that there was no effective communication with the municipalities that were going to be affected.

Rand Water states that they are not responsible for providing water tankers to the affected municipalities during water outages yet, they are the ones who cause water supply interruptions due to their maintenance operations.

While we agree that there is a need to maintain water infrastructure, this however cannot be done by inconveniencing our residents. Rand Water must also be held financially accountable for the financial burden that is now placed on municipalities in terms of sourcing out water tankers.

Municipalities do not have sufficient water tankers to provide water to the affected residents during water outages caused by Rand Water. There should be a shared responsibility between the Rand Water and municipalities to ensure that areas affected by water outages are provided with water during that period. This will leave thousands of Gauteng residents without water and will then blame the municipalities for failing to provide water tankers.

The DA is not desperate for votes and will never politicise such a human crisis. We will continue to put pressure on both provincial and national governments as well as Rand Water to ensure an uninterrupted water supply for all Gauteng residents.

The DA is petitioning the Premier and COGTA MEC to lobby their national counterparts to engage with the South African National Defence Force to assist with water tankers during the water outages. We also demand a proper audit of all our water infrastructure in Gauteng.

We will be engaging with the Department of Water and Sanitation concerning its refusal to grant a license to Rand Water to increase its water capacity supply. We will also be engaging with Rand Water in terms of their water infrastructure maintenance plans and their ineffective communication to the municipalities.