The Nelson Mandela Bay Water Crisis Committee is appalled by the hypocrisy of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, to say they are handling the situation very well on live television, while they failed to honour an invite from residents to assure them of this claim. 

Nelson Mandela Bay scramble for water as Day Zero looms. Image: 123RF/Riccardo Lennart Niels Mayer

People are getting sick from the water, dams are running dry – and most reservoirs are starting to reach 0%. This is a situation that could have been avoided 5 years ago if the money allocated by the treasury to fix the ailing infrastructure was put into good use. How is the situation under control, when children die, and people get sick from the overdose of Ecoli in the water? And there has been no plan to review and look into this.

The municipality must allow residents that are directly affected by this water situation to peer review them, by also honouring invites from residents that seek answers to this water question.

The NMB Municipality’s bragging of being peer-reviewed by Cape Town, while ignoring the calls from residents to account shows just the elitist character of this NMB government.

The paradox is that we are expecting Day Zero by June, while, Boreholes will be installed in August. In a crisis that the Municipality argues has been in existence for 7 years now. This proves just the inept bungling and unpreparedness of this municipality in dealing with this water crisis regardless that it has been there for over 5 years.

Little word about how they will deal with the issue of contractors that inflate prices, when it comes to tendering and how this might hinder the installation of the Borehole in August and the completion of the Orange River pipeline.

Also, the Orange River pipeline doesn’t fix the dirty water coming from the dams. There might be more circulation of water in the system, but it’s a huge waste that puts the same or greater burden on water treatment plants.

On Friday, MPAC received a report on Water Loss that could fill about two dams, 34 % of these are physical losses that include water leaks, that are not attended to. How is this under control, residents complain every day about how it takes weeks and days for the municipality to attend to them?

But, they say they are fixing leaks. Maybe 1000 leaks a week. If we take them at their word, then they are simply dealing with a crisis they cannot manage on their own. They are in over their head. This crisis would not be fixed even if they could handle all the leaks in a timely manner. The entire water system needs to be overhauled. 

Residents complain that a truck would pass a water leak if it is not reported to the municipality and does not have a case number, in a midst of a water crisis imagine. But they have the audacity to go on live television and claim that they have the situation under control.

Our members in Uitenhage are reporting that the sites that were constructed for installation of Jojo Tanks and Oscar Mabuyane invited media and took pictures that they delivered, only to take them back the same day have been installed due to mounting pressure.

As the Water Crisis Committee, we will continue to mount the pressure until these bunch of bunglers stop sleeping on the job.

Our demands as Water Crisis Committee still stand:

  • Installation of Water Pipes
  • Cut Municipal Bills on Water to Residents until this issue has been sorted out.
  • Indigent Policy must be enforced
  • Fix ailing infrastructure to allow pumping of clean water
  • Compensate the people who have suffered from illnesses from drinking the contaminated water
  • Communicate in advance that water will be cut
  • Construct the Dam in Bersheba so that the people of Bersheba and Enon can receive their own water
  • Fix all water leaks and respond to them on time 
  • Bring proof that water is now safe to drink
  • We demand One House One Jojo Tank
  • The truck must supply water every day
  • Create separate spaces where animals consume different water from that of human beings
  • Stop the estimation of water billings, read straight from what is in the meter
  • Finish the Water Tank installation project in Uitenhage
  • There should be Water Tanks in all schools

By this, we are imagining someone from the municipality visiting and meeting with communities of the working class structures like those developing in Motherwell and other areas represented in the Water Crisis Committee.

The municipality claims that when rain falls it does so outside the catchment area. We demand that the municipality improves its capacity for retaining and storing rainwater in the face of this ongoing drought.

For enquiries contact: 

Siyabulela Mama: 065 970 7079

Victoria Siwundla: 066 1718 022

Thozama Gxoyiya: 078 489 6555

Ncebakazi Tuku: 078 516 8013

Melikhaya Blani: 074 920 4076