DA wants debate on E.Cape water crisis

By Drum Digital
15 August 2013

The DA wants the Eastern Cape legislature to hold an urgent debate about unreliable water supply in Grahamstown, the party said on Thursday.

"A lack of water is not the problem. The town suffers from systemic infrastructure failure due to the lack of maintenance of the archaic pipeline network. The health hazard caused by this situation is unacceptable," DA MPL Dacre Haddon said in a statement.

Rhodes University said on Wednesday that 42 of its residences had been without water for nine days due to the Makana municipality's unsuccessful attempts to repair a water pump.

Haddon said he had submitted questions to local government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane about the town's water crisis. He said the municipality was withholding the basic human rights of access to water and a healthy environment from Grahamstown residents.

According to Rhodes University's dean of students, Vivian de Klerk, a report from the municipality indicated that the planned repairs on the Waainek pump were not successful.

The water was now being diverted from the Fish River scheme to fill certain dams in Grahamstown as an interim measure.

On Wednesday, municipal spokeswoman Yoliswa Ramokolo said technicians were working on the problem. A problem with the water pump's motor had been fixed. Now, however, there was a problem with the device which turned the pump on and off, depending on the water level in the tank.

"Maybe by the end of the week the system will be working. At the moment water trucks are giving out water to all affected areas," Ramokolo said.

-Sapa

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