The severity of the drought in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has been ignored by Executive Mayor, Cllr Mongameli Bobani, and as a result taps all across the Metro have now started running dry.
For more than two months the necessary documentation to have a local state of disaster declared in the Metro has been on the Mayor’s desk, but he has refused to sign-off on this.
In order to take quick action, or action that is outside of the ordinary, or to apply for relief funding from the provincial and national governments, it is necessary to have a local state of disaster declared and maintained as long as is necessary. This is a requirement of the Disaster Management Act of 2002.
Overall, the Metro’s five dams are currently at just 33.96% of their capacity. The last 10% of water in the dams is unusable, which means that, technically, the Metro’s dam levels are at a shocking 23.96%.
The Impofu dam, at 16.47%, has now dropped below the intake level. This means no water is forthcoming from this dam and water will have to be rerouted from the Churchill dam, which is currently at 86.19%.
The Impofu dam is three times the size of the Churchill dam. The water level of the Churchill dam will therefore soon show a drastic drop. The process of rerouting water will also be slow as the Churchill dam water treatment works is only operating at 60% of its capacity due to a lack of maintenance.
The situation at the remaining two dams, Loerie (45.41%) and Groendal (39.86%), is also dire.
In May 2017, during the DA-led coalition’s tenure in government, then Executive Mayor Athol Trollip made an application for disaster relief and the region was declared a disaster area. The Metro was allocated R233-million in drought disaster relief. This state of disaster has lapsed under Mayor Bobani and his coalition of corruption.
We implore all residents to use water sparingly. The Metro is currently using 280 megalitres per day, where we should only be using 240 megalitres.
The Municipality’s recent statement imploring the people of Nelson Mandela Bay to use water sparingly due to the drought and low dam levels is merely lamenting the situation and does not offer any concrete solutions.
Water is life and since Mayor Bobani clearly does not care for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, it is now up to all residents to make sure that we do not reach Day Zero in the City.
Masixole Zinto Cllr
DA NMB Spokesperson for Infrastructure and Engineering
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