The Provincial MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Xolile Nqatha, has conceded that the ANC-led Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) is simply not coping with providing its residents with adequate water and sanitation.
The Democratic Alliance has been relentlessly driving the issue of collapsed sanitation infrastructure and Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) in the CHDM, which has resulted in ongoing sewage spills flowing through streets and into fresh river sources.
Yesterday, during a House Sitting of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, I tabled a member’s statement, wherein I averred that the situation in CHDM is a result of the district either not being willing or capable to deal with the sewerage disaster of its own making.
Read Member’s Statement
The position of the DA is that the water and sanitation function is best located with local authorities that have increased capacity to deal with issues that have a major health impact on communities in large districts.
The DA appealed to MEC Nqatha to intervene and ensure that the CHDM prioritises the repair and maintenance of collapsing WWTW facilities across the district, and secondly to devolve the water provision function, which includes sanitation, from the district to local municipalities.
The DA believes that local municipalities may be better equipped to deal with the provision of these services in terms of human and financial resources.
In response, MEC Nqatha agreed that devolving the function of water provision and sanitation away from the district to local municipalities could be effective.
The MEC stated that: “…if we talk about issues of sanitation and water, we are busy looking at modalities, including the one that the Honourable member is talking about, including the issue of the provision of water, whether we can not have a more diversified approach where the local municipalities can be able to execute the function of provision of water… it applies again with sanitation… so that they can use their own revenue streams if they have got more capacity…”.
The Democratic Alliance will continue to drive this issue to the highest levels to ensure that communities that are victims of uncaring and incapable governments are freed from the shackles of poor service delivery.
A DA governed CHDM would have fixed this mess a long time ago, because we get things done.