Today, the ANC in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature has denied the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) urgent motion to debate the water crisis in Gauteng before the next planned major Rand Water outage on 1 April 2022.
The ANC is running away from a debate that will expose the incompetence and failures of both their provincial and national governments to provide uninterrupted water supply to the residents of Gauteng.
The residents of Gauteng will continue to suffer for days on end without water because Rand Water, which is a national entity, unexpectedly cuts water supply to our municipalities. At the same time, no alternative sources are made available to ensure that our people have access to water during that period. The same happens when they are conducting water infrastructure maintenance.
The DA’s motion was aimed at debating solutions that must be put in place before the planned Rand Water outages scheduled from 1-3 April 2022 and beyond due to major maintenance of water infrastructure.
The failure to have a debate and discuss the solutions will result in many areas across Gauteng not having water. The areas that will be most affected are parts of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Mogale City.
This province is heading for a disaster should there be no urgent interventions from the provincial government to ensure that they assist municipalities in providing water to the affected areas. The municipalities are already doing their part in providing water during outages; however, they do not have sufficient water tankers and are unable to deal with this crisis by themselves.
Gauteng faces a medium to long term water crisis because the water supply is not keeping up with the growth in its economy and population. The equation is that demand is rising daily but the supply of water is remaining the same. We must also note that Gauteng also supplies water to other municipalities outside the province such as Thembisile Hani (Mpumalanga) and Madibeng (North West).
In a short time, this province will have a limited water supply just like we have limited electricity supply if Rand Water’s supply capacity is not increased.
We are faced with a critical situation as the national Department of Water and Sanitation is refusing to approve Rand Water’s licence application to increase its water supply capacity in the province.
All these factors will lead to water scarcity in Gauteng and reiterate the importance of debating this matter to find solutions to this looming crisis. If we do not find solutions soon, it will lead to dire economic and humanitarian consequences.
The DA will continue to fight for an increased water supply in Gauteng to avert such a disaster. The DA is petitioning the Premier and COGTA MEC to lobby their national counterparts to declare all water infrastructure national key points to be exempted from load shedding and 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. To sign or access the DA’s Water Crisis Petition, please click this link: https://petitions.da.org.za/p/gauteng-water-crisis
The DA will hand over a memorandum to the Premier, COGTA MEC and the CEO of Rand Water about the lack of water tankers during water outages, a severe lack of proper and regular maintenance of water infrastructure, and the need for a Water Indaba to discuss issues of investment into water infrastructure and funding as well as vandalism of water infrastructure
The DA will also be engaging with the Department of Water and Sanitation with regard to its refusal to grant a license to Rand Water to increase its water capacity supply. In the past several years, Gauteng has experienced massive growth in terms of the population due to immigration, and there is a dire need to increase Rand Water’s water supply capacity. We will also be engaging with Rand Water in terms of their water infrastructure maintenance plans and their ineffective communication to the municipalities. We will engage with all our municipalities across Gauteng to discuss the water crisis and how they can intervene in terms of awareness campaigns on how to save water as a scarce resource.
The ANC’s refusal to debate the water crisis exposes how they are willing to play political games instead of assisting our residents, who will be severely impacted by the scheduled planned water outages and future water problems. This is exactly what landed us in trouble with Eskom and the country’s electricity supply. If this is the ANC’s attitude, then Gauteng residents must brace themselves for water shedding.