Cri­mi­nal ca­se in­ves­ti­ga­ted as se­wa­ge spills con­ti­nue Clouds bring ho­pe

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

Graaff-Rei­net lo­cals wo­ke up to a mag­ni­fi­cent sig­ht on Sa­tur­day 8 Fe­bru­a­ry, as wa­ter star­ted to fill the emp­ty N­q­we­ba Dam.

This ca­me af­ter days of much-nee­ded rain fell in the droug­ht-stric­ken a­rea. Graaff-Rei­net lo­cal, T­hi­nus Fer­rei­ra, me­a­su­red 25mm of rain be­t­ween 7 and 8 Fe­bru­a­ry al­o­ne. The dam had been emp­ty sin­ce Fe­bru­a­ry last y­e­ar.

Ed­war­di­ne A­ba­der, acting mu­ni­ci­pal spo­kes­per­son of the Dr Bey­ers Nau­dé Lo­cal Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, told the Ad­ver­ti­ser on Tu­es­day 11 Fe­bru­a­ry that the wa­ter le­vel of the dam was 5,41% at that s­ta­ge.

A­ba­der could not ve­ri­fy w­het­her this per cen­ta­ge is ex­pected to ri­se and said it de­pends on the a­mount of rain­fall yet to co­me in the ca­t­chment a­re­as.

"[We] are gra­te­ful for the rain thus far, but it is not suf­fi­cient and does not e­ra­di­ca­te the cur­rent wa­ter chal­len­ges in town," A­ba­der said. "Wa­ter re­stricti­ons re­main in pla­ce."

Ac­cor­ding to A­ba­der, the dam was not de­sil­ted be­fo­re the rain ar­ri­ved, "as this is an ex­tre­me­ly cos­t­ly pro­cess." The Ad­ver­ti­ser re­por­ted last week that wa­ter was found one me­ter be­low the emp­ty dam, but that it was loc­ked up in silt. A­ba­der ad­ded that the Graaff-Rei­net E­co­no­mic De­ve­lop­ment Forum is in­ves­ti­ga­ting the pos­si­bi­li­ty of de­sil­ting the dam or to find ot­her al­ter­na­ti­ves.

A­ba­der said that the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty re­ser­ves com­ments a­bout the sta­te of the N­q­we­ba Dam wall, as t­hey are still a­wai­ting a re­port from the De­part­ment of Wa­ter and Sa­ni­ta­ti­on. MP Sa­man­tha Gra­ham-Maré rai­sed her con­cern a­bout the wall in par­li­a­ment in Oc­to­ber last y­e­ar, af­ter which Wa­ter and Sa­ni­ta­ti­on Mi­nis­ter Lin­di­we Si­su­lu or­de­red an in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on. Ho­we­ver, this in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on has not yet ta­ken pla­ce. "I will be re­submit­ting que­s­ti­ons to par­li­a­ment this week, to find out w­hat the ti­me fra­me is and why it has not occur­red," Gra­hamMaré told the Ad­ver­ti­ser.

War­mer, less rai­ny days a­wait Graaff-Rei­net in the days to co­me, with tem­pe­ra­tu­res of up to 38 de­grees fo­re­cas­ted for T­hurs­day 13 Fe­bru­a­ry, and 36 for F­ri­day.

The town ho­pes to see mo­re rain on Sun­day 16 Fe­bru­a­ry, as a 50 per cent chan­ce of rain is pre­dicted.

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