25 March 2019 - NW167
Lekota, Mr M to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation
What (a) are the root causes of the current water crisis in the Makana Local Municipality and (b) steps has he taken to resolve the crisis?
a) The root causes of the current water crisis in Makana Local Municipality (LM) are due to aged infrastructure, increased demand and some recent operational deficiencies and the current drought conditions.
The latter has led to electrical failure and therefore disruption of plant operations has affected the town area, but has since been fixed. The Eastern Cape Provincial Office is working very hard to ensure plant operations are restored to the maximum design capacity but it is partly functional and currently produces 50% of its capacity. The work is to be completed by end of March 2019.
b) The following interventions are in place to deal with the crisis:
- The Department has embarked on various Water Conservation and Demand Management Strategies which include rationing of water, dealing with major leaks, tankering to high laying areas and bottle water distribution in partnership with the “Gift of the Givers” a known Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). In addition, alternative sources are being explored by drilling boreholes which are to be linked to the current systems across Makana LM including Riebeeck East and Alicedale.
- The linkages of both the East and West water supply systems will enable access to reliable controlled/restricted supply to cater for the Makhanda communities during the drought period and will be fully functional by end of March 2019.
- In dealing with the increased demands, the Department has appointed Amatola Water Board to double the current treatment capacity of one of the treatment works from 10 ML/d to 20ML/d to meet current and future demands until 2030. Phase 1 of 4 phases is to be completed in March 2019. This phase will allow pumping of treated water from the eastern side to the western side which is currently at critical storage levels.
- Furthermore, the Department has advised the Municipality to reprioritise its Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) to deal with the replacement of major components in the distribution system .This is due to the fact that the current funding trends and the revenue base of the municipality is inadequate to effectively address the current aged infrastructure and/or asset management in general. The Amatola Water Board is also in partnership with the Department in providing operational support to oversee and guide plant operators.