De Lille says investigations into her not a distraction from mayoral duties

2018-01-09 22:08
Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille with Xanthea Limberg, MMC in City of Cape Town for water and waste settlements. (Jenni Evans  News24)

Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille with Xanthea Limberg, MMC in City of Cape Town for water and waste settlements. (Jenni Evans News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille is not distracted by the allegations of impropriety levelled against her and remains focused on dealing with the severe water crisis and drought, she said on Tuesday.

"Yes, some of the issues are of irritation value. But I'm not distracted at all," said De Lille during a press conference to announce that two more aquifers would be drilled for water as the City tries to avoid "Day Zero" – the day taps run dry.

READ: Confidential report reveals De Lille may be ‘guilty of gross misconduct’

The Atlantis aquifer on the West Coast is already being drawn on, and soon the Table Mountain and Cape Flats aquifers will come on line to add over 100 million litres a day to the City's water supplies.

"I am committed to making sure that this well run City does not run out of water," said De Lille. "That consumes the bigger part of my day, every day."

This included her holiday time, she added.

"So no, it does not impact it at all," she said when asked if the controversy was affecting her ability to manage the water crisis.

Proposed drought charge

De Lille is also faced with a revenue stream reduction of R1.6bn due to 54% of water users reducing their consumption.

This revenue is needed for system maintenance and supply augmentation, which includes the aquifers and desalination plants.

She hopes to partially replace the lost revenue by getting Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to agree to allow the collection of a "drought charge" ranging between R47 to R150. The deadline for comment on this was extended to Monday at midnight.

READ: City of Cape Town loses R1.6bn due to reduced water consumption

De Lille said once a month, the team mitigating the effects of the drought, including member of the mayoral committee for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy councillor Xanthea Limberg, meets the provincial cabinet for briefings.

The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Forum had also allocated experts on desalination and groundwater to help the City.

This includes Neil Mcleod who helped manage responses to the drought in Durban in 1984. 

"We are getting assistance from both spheres of government," said De Lille.

However, reporters questioned the absence from the briefing of the City's resilience officer Craig Kesson.

Kesson was appointed last year amid much fanfare and a water resilience task team was established under his leadership.

Announcing his appointment last year, De Lille said the task team was also expected to work with the disaster management department to improve the state of readiness regarding acute water shortages.

He has also alleged in an affidavit that De Lille planned to publicly discredit a senior City staffer who questioned alleged tender irregularities, and asked that a report into a possible R43m loss regarding another tender be made to "go away", according to an earlier report by News24.

Asked why Kesson was not at the briefing as usual, De Lille said: "I don't know where he is.

"I will give you his number and you can ask him yourself," said De Lille.

Kesson told News24 by WhatsApp: "I was working in my office fully restored to all my duties.

"The press conference of the mayor was not in my diary and I did not know what it was about until I read the statement in the afternoon.

"I have convened the water task team per the council mandate to fully interrogate water and resilience issues facing the City."

Read more on:    city of cape town  |  patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  drought  |  water crisis

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.