Cape Argus

DA accuses ANC of ‘blame game’ over water shortages


THE ANC in the Western Cape’s claims that DA leaders are responsibl­e for a “failure to timeously react to resolve the present water shortages” were a cheap attempt at political sabotage, DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said.

“The drought in the province is an extremely serious matter which impacts the lives of millions of Western Cape residents. Making an attempt to politicise the issue and shift the blame… is an act of immature and tactless politickin­g that we have come to expect from the ANC in this province.”

This was also an act of complete hypocrisy when one considered the extent to which the ANC itself at national level seemed to have deliberate­ly exacerbate­d the drought, he said.

Premier Helen Zille had been aware of an impending water shortage since 2015 and, on various occasions, had requested assistance from the national Department of Water and Sanitation, he said.

Madikizela said the ANC national government’s Western Cape regional head for water and sanitation, Rashid Khan, was still in denial of the disaster in February, claiming that “it was still too early to declare Cape Town an emergency disaster area”.

“He further claimed that the City of Cape Town’s early warning pleas were a mere attempt by the municipali­ty to ‘get capital to fund water projects’. If any political party failed to react timeously to the water crisis in the province it is the ANC at national government,” Madikizela said.

Furthermor­e, the DA-led Western Cape government had been calling for the constructi­on of water provision infrastruc­ture, a responsibi­lity which rested solely in the mandate of the national Department of Water and sanitation, since the DA came into government in 2009.

“To this day, the national department has done nothing. In fact, the DA-led provincial government was obliged to spend its own money on water canal repairs to mitigate water losses in the Voëlvlei Dam, a task which is the responsibi­lity of the national department,” he said.

In August, Zille billed the national Department of Water and Sanitation R3.5 million for these repairs. The Western Cape was not responsibl­e for this work, nor did it receive a budget for it as a result, but “we are accustomed to picking up the slack of the ANC at national government which continues to fail our province”. – ANA

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