Nelson Mandela Bay is currently in the grip of a devastating drought, that has seen the combined dam levels supplying the Metro drop below 20%.
Despite this, the previous ANC-led Coalition of Corruption, failed to spend conditional grants given to the city for drought mitigation measure, totalling R188 million rand, during its two years in government from 2018 to 2020. National Treasury has subsequently refused to roll over these funds.
A capable state would never have allowed matters to deteriorate to this level and would have ensured that the grant funding was spent in the first place.
I will be engaging with the Finance MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, to intercede with National Treasury on the Nelson Mandela Bay’s behalf, as a matter of urgency, and request that it reconsiders its decision not to roll over the funds.
Any funding that can be used to address the huge backlog in water infrastructure maintenance, or put other drought mitigation measures in place, will be a huge benefit to the residents of the city.
Funding to tackle the drought is not a nice to have, it is a must have to safeguard water security in the Metro and to avoid a possible Day Zero. Access to water is also a basic human right and this cannot be denied the residents of the City.
If the request is not granted, it will mean the municipality will have to redirect funding from other critical projects, and will put further financial strain on the Metro, which has been run into the ground by the ANC and its partners.
It is unacceptable that the residents of the Metro have to suffer due to the mismanagement of the previous ANC government.
I have also engaged with the Metro’s MMC for Budget and Treasury, DA Cllr Malcolm Figg, to look at what funding can be prioritised to ensure water availability.
Water is life and the DA will not stop fighting to ensure that the constitutional right of residents to have access to water is protected.