Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

NCOP budget vote debate: Water and Sanitation, Rural development and Land Reform – Municipal chaos to blame for water shortages

The single biggest reason why residents in certain municipal regions have water shortages is the chaos in municipalities across the country, particularly those under ANC governance that do not pay their water accounts.

The Minister admitted that part of the problem is the collapse of infrastructure. It is too bad that she did not also admit that it is the ANC's fault.

It is becoming increasingly unacceptable to blame the previous dispensation. Apartheid has nothing to do with the ANC's fraud, corruption and sheer inability to govern. Municipalities' outstanding debt to nine different water councils currently amounts to R14 billion. The money cannot simply be written off.

And the water that is available gets wasted or polluted. In April this year, the FF Plus lodged a criminal complaint against the manager of the Mafube Local Municipality due to the dumping of raw sewage in the Wilge River at Frankfort. The municipality's sewage plant has not been functioning for quite some time now.

In Manguang, poor upkeep resulted in 13 billion litres of water going to waste last year. That equals 36 million litres per day. When converted to monetary value, it means that R233 million seeped into the soil. In Gauteng, water to the estimated value of R3 billion was wasted.

Last year, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Water and Sanitation reprimanded the Department for its slackness as it did not submit the so-called Green and Blue Drop reports since 2014.

The time has come for the ANC to accept responsibility for the culture of non-payment and poor governance and to urgently address the water problem that could very easily turn into a crisis of catastrophic proportions.

Concerning land, it is time for the national land audit to be released. It, however, suits the ANC to hold back the information seeing as then lies about land can be used for political gain.

The ANC government can no longer make landowners the scapegoats for the government's own inability to reach its land reform targets.

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