MEC unaware of severity of water crisis

While Nelson Mandela Bay is faced with a looming disaster as its dam levels plummet, provincial Treasury MEC Sakhumzi Somyo has not yet been informed of the severity of the crisis.

The municipality warned last week that it was on the brink of being declared a disaster area as its overall dam levels stood at 49%.

“Such information has not come to our attention. So far there has not been an application of any assistance. So we are not aware of that,” Somyo said before delivering his provincial budget speech earlier this week. The dam levels have since dropped to 48.58%. “But once we are notified about the situation we will ask Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC [Fikile Xasa] to take the necessary steps,” Somyo said.

“For now we cannot say what action will be taken by the province should the metro be declared a disaster area.” Nelson Mandela Bay water distribution manager Joseph Tsatsire said the city was in constant contact with the provincial office of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

“We update the department about the water situation. We also met with them on Wednesday and we discussed the issue of our dam levels,” he said. Tsatsire said communication with the provincial government had to go through the council.

“If our levels go below 40%, the process is to send an item to council that says we must be declared a disaster area. Then from there the council will send its resolution to the provincial government , ” he said.

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