City ‘is alone in water crisis’
National department will not help with fund-raising
WHILE the City of Cape Town is desperately seeking funds for water projects as Day Zero nears, the national Water and Sanitation Department said yesterday that it would not offer a single cent towards the drought crisis schemes of the Mother City.
Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the City was solely responsible for raising funds for its additional water projects.
“Funding should come from local revenue. It is a municipal issue. In any way that we might be able to support, then that’s where we come in,” said Ratau.
Deputy mayor Ian Neilson last week told Weekend Argus that with the city council having dropped the proposed drought levy, it would need to seek funds elsewhere. He said the City would approach the national government.
The city’s dams are running low as it is racing towards Day Zero – April 12 – when taps run dry.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille even went as far as calling on President Jacob Zuma to declare the water shortage in the province a national disaster. But nothing has come of this.
Ratau said if the water crisis was declared a national disaster, then the national disaster management centre “would need to help”.
Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane is in Cape Town visiting water projects and meeting officials.
“The minister has been involved in the Western Cape. The minister is assisting and she engaged with the mayor (Patricia de Lille) throughout last year,” Ratau said.
Discussions were under way at the department’s Bellville offices yesterday to unpack the national water and sanitation master plan.
The department disclosed that South Africans used 237 litres of water a person a day, higher than any other country. Worryingly, water levels are also decreasing countrywide.
And while funding for water projects such as desalination remains unclear, the DA has seemingly been juggling leadership on the crisis.
Last Friday, the DA-led city council stripped De Lille of her powers to speak on the water crisis. Her deputy, Neilson and Xanthea Lim-
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