Cabinet notes dire drought in Eastern, Western Cape

The water crisis in parts of the Eastern and Western Cape made its onto the agenda of the cabinet last week, government spokeswoman Phumla Williams announced on Friday.

She said cabinet had received a report on the drought, and “has noted the deterioration of the drought situation in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape”.

A multi-departmental team, headed by the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation, has been formed to find short-, mid- and long-term solutions to curb the effects of the drought.

Water Affairs spokesman Mlimandlela Ndamase said the hardest-hit area in the Eastern Cape was Nelson Mandela Bay, which had registered a significant shortage at Churchill Dam, which is sitting at 13.1% of capacity.

Ndamase said the task team was focusing specifically on the Bay as well as the Western Cape.

“The team will assess the Bay and provide a report with possible responses,” he said.

Ndamase said Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane had met Western Cape Cogta MEC Anton Bredell in March and “the team has put together a plan to support the province and align efforts towards short-, medium- and long-term solutions to the drought”.

He said the water indaba held last week had been an outcome of those engagements.

Meanwhile, Williams said the cabinet had called on communities to support water restrictions introduced by the two provinces and for all South Africans to use water more sparingly.

Leave a Reply