Question NW1223 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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16 July 2021 - NW1223

Profile picture: Mokgotho, Ms SM

Mokgotho, Ms SM to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

What steps has she taken to ensure that the persons of Ward 8 in Nemato, Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, have access to bulk water services?


The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is aware of the water challenges in the Port Alfred area, including Ward 8 in Nemato which forms part of the Ndlambe Local Municipality (LM). The water challenges are as a result of the prevailing drought in the Eastern Cape Province.

The main water source for Port Alfred is the Sarel Hayward Dam, but due to the prevailing drought, the water levels in the dam has dropped to such an extent that the municipality cannot abstract sufficient water to meet the demand in Port Alfred. Full water supply can only be restored once the prevailing drought is over.

The Ndlambe LM is currently only getting 1.6Ml/day from Sarel Hayward Dam compared to the average yield of 6Ml/day, 0.4Ml/day from the Central Belt boreholes and 0.5Ml/day from a nearby farm which totals up to 2.5Ml/day. The average daily demand for Port Alfred is 8Ml/day which means the current water resources can only meet 30% of the demand.

The DWS Eastern Cape Regional Office is monitoring the situation and in collaboration with the municipality it is working towards finding solutions to address the current water crisis. The interventions in the municipality are being coordinated through a Joint Operations Committee (JOC), Bilaterals, Project Steering Committee (PSC) and Project Meetings to identify short – and medium term interventions to bring relief to the affected communities.

Furthermore, the DWS has intervened to alleviate challenges relating to water provision in the Ndlambe LM (which includes Ward 8 in Nemato) as follows:

a) Provision of water tankers to the Ndlambe LM to provide water to areas in need.

b) Allocation of R80 million towards the construction of a 2Ml/day Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Plant (SWRO) and a 3Ml/day Waste Water Reclamation (WWR) plant that is currently under construction. The timeframe for completion of the project is end July 2021.

c) Allocation of R1.24 million to procure a standby generator in order to ensure that the maximum water can be pumped from the Kowie River to Port Alfred and Sarel Hayward Dam. This is intended to assist the municipality with challenges regarding pumping water from the Kowie River to the Sarel Hayward Dam during load shedding.

d) Continuous engagement with the municipality on effective management of the Water Conservation and Demand Management Programme, including through monitoring and repairs of leaks to prevent wastage which can further exacerbate the impact of the prevailing drought conditions.

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