Lapsed service contracts the cause of Bay water crisis, says DA

DA representatives, from left, Annette Lovemore, Nqaba Bhanga, Jonathan Lawack and Masixole Zinto speak to the media at the Glendinningvale reservoir in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday
WATER AFFAIRS: DA representatives, from left, Annette Lovemore, Nqaba Bhanga, Jonathan Lawack and Masixole Zinto speak to the media at the Glendinningvale reservoir in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday
Image: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga has blamed the number of lapsed service delivery contracts in Nelson Mandela Bay for the water crisis.

He said the DA had also written to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and requested an immediate investigation into the state of water affairs in the Bay,  saying they had approached the commission because the constitution, under Section 27 1 (b), provides that all South Africans have the right to sufficient water.

He was speaking on Wednesday at media briefing at the Glendinningvale reservoir on the issue of service delivery contracts in the Bay that have not been renewed.

The metro is hiding behind a so-called Day Zero, though there is no Day Zero.

“We have water in our dams and water from the Nooitgedacht Low Level Water Scheme.

“This inept government is not able to manage the water — we have reached Day Incompetence and nothing more,” Bhanga said.

He also said the DA had written to council speaker Buyelwa Mafaya to request she calls an emergency meeting of the municipal public accounts committee (Mpac) to discuss various aspects of the water crisis.

However, speaking to the Herald on Wednesday, Mafaya said she had not received the letter but it would have been strange for the DA to request an urgent meeting when there was already an Mpac meeting scheduled for Thursday.

The city’s infrastructure and engineering head, Mongameli Bobani, said: “As a political head I do not interfere with issues of administrations, my oversight is to ensure that people get water.

“There are lots of companies with contracts with the municipality.

“Some have been renewed some have not,”  Bobani said.

Bobani said he encouraged the DA to approach the SAHRC because the crisis was not man-made and the municipality would be able to answer to the SAHRC.

Bhanga claimed contracts that had not been renewed included street light refurbishments, fencing, grass cutting and bush clearing, catchment and alien vegetation control.

“The DA will now write to the Eastern Cape MEC for Cogta [the department of co-operative government and traditional affairs], Xolile Nqatha, and the minister of Cogta, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to urgently intervene and request immediate feedback on why the metro has allowed contracts to expire,” he said.

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