Parliament could summons Mokonyane over waterless town

2017-01-25 17:38
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Cape Town - The Department of Water and Sanitation could be summonsed to Parliament if it does not intervene in an unfinished water infrastructure project in Kgetlengrivier Local Municipality that has left some residents without water.

The department and minister Nomvula Mokonyane has still not instructed the Magalies Water Board, an implementing agent in the North West province, to finish the work still needed in the municipality, the portfolio committee on water and sanitation revealed on Wednesday.

The issues at the municipality have affected the access to clean, running water for many of the small towns in the area, most notably Swartruggens, affecting around 40 000 people.

The committee discovered the depth of the problem after a constituency visit in October 2016, committee chairperson Lulu Johnson said.

"Upon visiting the area, we were very shocked that there was no water, number one. There is [water] tankering that is taking place, and the dam is empty," Johnson told News24 after the meeting.

"As a result of all of that, it became very clear that we needed to go back and the department promised that Magalies would be the implementing agent to drive that programme and clean the dam."

Funding problems

Johnson said the department was instructed to send a letter to the Magalies Water Board in November 2016 telling it to immediately see to the issues in the area.

After initially failing to send the letter in November, the department promised last week that it would send the instructions by Monday, January 23, Johnson said.

As of Wednesday, the committee has still not received confirmation that the letter was sent.

The department previously claimed there were no funds available for the project, said Johnson.

If that was the problem they should have communicated that to Parliament sooner, he said.

The committee will give Mokonyane until Friday to provide an explanation and send instructions to the water board to finish the work.

If she fails to do so the committee will summons the department to appear before it.

Read more on:    parliament  |  rustenburg  |  water

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