Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has intervened in the water and sanitation crisis in Makhanda in an effort to ensure that residents in the Eastern Cape town have access to clean and safe drinking water.
Sisulu has activated measures that will see her undertaking executive authority over the water and sanitation function in the municipality.
The Minister said her intervention in Makhanda is meant to give practical expression to the Constitution’s provision that everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water.
“A team will be immediately dispatched to Makhanda to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the situation and make concrete proposals on the short, medium and long terms interventions that need to be put in place to ensure that residents and other water users have uninterrupted supply and access to clean and safe drinking water and proper sanitation,” Sisulu said.
A team from the department is expected to work closely with sector departments at the provincial and local levels, with the Minister providing oversight on the work being done, while providing regular feedback to all stakeholders and interested parties.
These measures will result in the Minister overseeing a multi-sectoral team to be appointed from key stakeholders at national, provincial and local levels.
The extraordinary steps have been taken in terms of the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Water Services Act, following consultations with relevant stakeholders at provincial and local levels, post appointment as the Minister responsible for Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation.
The intended outcomes of the intervention include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Undertaking an evaluation and analysis of the reasons and resultant failures that have occurred in Makhanda related to provision of water and sanitation.
- Developing short, medium and long term plans for both the operational and capital maintenance and management of water and sanitation infrastructure in the municipality.
- Developing short, medium and long term plans for sustainable water and sanitation provision to residents of Makhanda.
- Ensuring that over the medium and long term there is an appropriate plan to create and/or strengthen the required regulatory, technical, financial skills and expertise in the Makana Local Municipality for the long term, and sustainable provision of water and sanitation services in Makhanda.