The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is proposing the establishment of an inter-governmental task team to deal with the water and load-shedding crisis in Gauteng, as it is severely affecting the economy and the livelihoods of the residents.
The DA will be writing to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Premier of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, the Minister for Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu and the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mzi Khumalo, regarding the water crisis that has emerged because of the ongoing load-shedding across the country.
The residents of Mogale City have either low water pressure or no water at all because of the ongoing load-shedding which has had a negative impact on the City’s water levels. In addition, some pumping stations are unable to pump water during load-shedding as they are not exempted from load-shedding.
The only way in which the current water crisis can be resolved is if an inter-governmental approach is taken, where all stakeholders responsible for the supply of water and electricity can formulate a plan which will allow water pumping stations and reservoirs to be exempted from load-shedding.
It is high time that Eskom gets its act together. Municipalities are forced to provide water tankers to residents and buy generators which may not be budgeted for. This will result in funds meant to provide services like grass-cutting being used to procure these additional items.
Mogale City has already procured water tankers for its residents to have access to water. Generators and boosters’ pumps have also been purchased and installed to help with the reticulation of water.
Access to water is a basic human right and, residents living in Mogale City are being denied this basic human right, yet they are paying for access to water. It is for this reason that we have also approached the Human Rights Commission (HRC) about this issue.
The DA is therefore demanding that the President together with the Premier of Gauteng urgently establish a task team to find solutions to the electricity and water problems in the province. Independent Power Producers (IPPs) must also be brought on board as soon as possible so that the province can be less reliant on Eskom for electricity.
There is also a need for a disaster management plan to outline how the province will deal with the higher stages of load-shedding should they be implemented again because it is not only affecting the water supply but also our economy.
Where we govern in the Western Cape, a plan has been put in place that affords our residents some protection from load-shedding while still ensuring a reliable supply of water and keeping the wheels of the economy turning.