DA calls for probe into Gauteng water crisis

2014-10-01 21:05
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Johannesburg - The DA on Wednesday called for an independent inquiry into Gauteng's water crisis.

"Today you hear about ageing infrastructure, tomorrow it is vandalised or stolen cables. We need a commission to sort this out," DA spokesperson Nosimo Balindlela said.

Parts of Gauteng experienced severe water shortages in past weeks, which Water Minister Nomvula Mokonyane blamed on a "technical glitch" and the theft of electricity cables that kept pumps operating.

Balindlela accompanied DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane to Tsakane, on the East Rand, to deliver water to residents.

Maimane brought two water tankers to Section 17, where a group of people wearing ANC T-shirts booed him.

"Go away," they chanted.

Some carried placards accusing the DA of selling water to them.

"Maimane go and sell your water to Zille," read one placard.

Resident Bila Ndou said the DA had asked people to sign up for party membership before the water was delivered.

"This is how they sell the water," he said.

"Where were the DA three weeks ago? Now that the situation is under control they show their face," said another resident, Kabo Mhlazi.

"The municipality is providing us with water. There is no crisis."

Maimane said the two tankers were taken to a safe place as he did not want to incite violence.

"I am here to deliver water, not to incite violence. The water will be taken to another community that needs it," he said.

Membership for water

He denied that the DA wanted people to sign up for party membership in exchange for water.

"This is nonsense. We have never asked for membership. We compiled a petition, and [were] not recruiting members.

"The fact is that maintenance of our key infrastructure is sorely lacking. Our infrastructure is crumbling, and nothing is being done to arrest the disaster."

He said the ANC was failing South Africans.

"It is clear that the ANC will do everything in their power to block efforts to help people affected by the failings of the ANC government."

ANC Ward Councillor Silas Thabo Letsimo said it was not necessary for the DA to bring water tankers.

"The municipality is delivering water daily here. The water problem is under control. This tanker has been here since the morning. If it runs dry another truck is sent to deliver water."

He said the DA wanted to portray him as a non-caring councillor.

Despite the angry reaction by locals to the DA's presence, one man took a 20-litre bucket and filled it with water from the DA's tankers before they were driven away.

Balindlela said the police did their best to restore order and prevented a confrontation between DA and ANC supporters.

Police escorted Maimane out of Tsakane and the crowd dispersed peacefully.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  mmusi maimane  |  johannesburg  |  water  |  politics  |  service delivery

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