Metro economy ‘heavily reliant on water’

2018-03-01 06:00

THE Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) announced the results of a survey which solicited the views of its members about drought, water scarcity and water restrictions in Nelson Mandela Bay metro.

“We commissioned this survey to guide the business chamber’s efforts and engagement with national, regional and municipal planning authorities,” said Nomkhita Mona, Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO.

Mona notes that the economy of Uitenhage, Port Elizabeth and Despatch which constitute the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, is heavily reliant on water, “lifeblood of the Bay’s industrial and manufacturing-oriented economy.”

Some of the outcomes include that a total of 63% of respondents indicated they were severely concerned about the future impact of the drought, water scarcity and water restrictions on the operations, profitability and sustainability of their businesses.

The chamber survey sought to establish how Nelson Mandela Bay businesses would respond to a Day Zero scenario. For 59% of respondents, it will be business as usual. However, 42% would be adversely affected: 21% of businesses indicated they would shut down, and 21% indicated staff members would be sent home.

An overwhelming 94% of businesses want national, regional and local planning authorities to consider desalination plants in Nelson Mandela Bay as part of future strategies to ensure water resource availability.

Mona believes that there need to be frank debates and discussions to map a way forward and co-craft Nelson Mandela Bay’s “Bay H20 Security”.


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