Merafong Water Crisis Should Be Declared A Disaster

Disaster Management Amendment Bill

The Democratic Alliance, after sustained pressure, was approached by the Gauteng Legislature’s public participation unit to make written submissions regarding the escalating water crisis in Merafong.

Last week the portfolio committee for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affair (COGTA) held a public hearing meeting in Khutsong to discuss the Disaster Management Amendment Bill.

DA councillors in attendance called on the committee to have Merafong declared a disaster zone due to the unbaiting high volumes of water wastage.

More than 52% of water in Merafong is lost every month due to ageing and deteriorating structures, despite the local municipality insisting that they have a water loss management plan.

Section 139(5) of the Constitution

These water leaks are not isolated, but are spread across the municipality. The Khutsong hostel has been without water for over six months.

This crisis is compounded by the fact that the region is situated on dolomitic land, which exposed to constant water leaks, is susceptible to massive sink holes emerging, ultimately placing thousands of residents at serious risk.

It is encouraging that the Chairperson of the committee, Mphatla Tseki, showed a great deal of concern for the situation – however immediate action must be taken to resolve this issue.

The DA remains adamant that COGTA MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, institute a provincial intervention in terms of Section 139(5) of the Constitution.

 

Media Enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

Constituency Head: Merafong
060 556 4344

Merafong Water Crisis Now Affecting Emergency Services

Dysfunctional Municipal Services

Dysfunctional municipal services in Merafong have led to the complete destruction of a family home in Carletonville as emergency service workers could not carry out their relief work when the home caught alight.

Upon arrival emergency services could not locate the nearest hydrant as there were no markings on the street lights – which were out of order.

When one was located, the water pressure was too low for fire fighters to douse the flames.

As a result, the home was completely gutted and the family lost all their possessions.

Deteriorating Infrastructure

This incident has highlighted the precarious situation in which Merafong finds itself. Should there be a large scale fire, the municipality will simply not have the means to protect the lives of residents.

More than 52% of water in Merafong is lost every month due to ageing and deteriorating infrastructure, despite the local municipality insisting that it has a water loss management plan.

The DA has, on numerous occasions called on Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, for a provincial intervention in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution.

Time and time again our requests have been ignored while residents of Merafong are left in desperate need of assistance.

The DA has assisted the family by providing blankets, food and water, however, if the situation in Merafong is not addressed urgently, this could become the norm.

(Pictures available on request)

 

Media Enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL
DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Merafong
060 556 4344