Mchunu tackles Nelson Mandela Bay water woes

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Water and Sanitation (DWS) Minister, Senzo Mchunu, says the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and national government must work together as one team to ensure that residents in the metro are not without water.

“The department and municipalities need to do better in terms of managing water abstraction and water consumption in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality,” Mchunu said.

Mchunu made the remarks during a Ministerial visit to the Eastern Cape, where he led a site inspection at Churchill Dam on Tuesday.

Mchunu said working together will lead to better water provision, “not only in the metro but in the country.”

“We must be one family and not create these barriers because they don’t work for the people. We must synergise,” Mchunu said.

Churchill Dam nightmare

During an oversight visit to Churchill Dam, Mchunu said the view of the low-level of the dam was a horror to see.

“The feeling is painful and that’s why my imagination went as far as comparing it to a starving person. For the dam to look beautiful, for the river to look beautiful... it must have water. Here is a seven-year drought and it’s like seven years without being fed. It’s a horror,” Mchunu said.

The Minister was briefed on the status of the dam, which currently stands at 17%, an increase from last week’s 8%.

Echoing Mchunu’s sentiments, Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality Executive Mayor, Eugene Johnson, said the sight of the dam was depressing.

“This is our reality… It is depressing for us to see this and to find out that this has gone so far and for so many years but now it is time to fix this. We welcome the help of the Minister to ensure that the crisis is fixed for everyone,” Johnson said.

Johnson called on members of Water and Sanitation Metro Portfolio Committee to visit the dam to drive the message home.

More leaks have been fixed in the metro, with 3 097 of 3 314 of reported leaks having been fixed.

Mchunu has called for the urgent repair of all water leaks in the municipality, possibly by Friday. – SAnews.gov.za

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