NPA DECLINES THE DA’S REQUEST TO INVESTIGATE THE JOBURG WATER CRISIS
We note with disappointment that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has written to and has declined to prosecute the case we opened against the then Member of the Mayor Committee (MMC), Councillor Mpho Moerane for the water crisis he presided over in July and August 2021 as the then MMC for this portfolio. We are reviewing the reasons provided by the NPA and we will announcing our next actions steps in due course as people need to be held accountable for the inadequate supply of water.
Water is a basic human right and that there are occasions when the vital water infrastructure needs to be maintained. We therefore accept that Rand Water did advertise in advance the 54 hour water shut down for maintenance to have taken place on the B11 and B19 pipelines. This was done at an inconvenient period as some schools were busy with exams. As ward councillors we did our best to disseminate this information to our residents.
This shutdown was advertised to take place from the 15 to 17 November 2021. Our beleaguered residents emerged from the first two days relatively unscathed, but then the problems started at Forest Hill, South Hills, Crown Gardens and Meredale water-towers when the shut-down continued past the advertised period. Communication from Joburg Water and Rand Water has been exceptionally poor, with only one media statement released by them. This has added to the frustrations.
What is more disappointing is that the water tanks dispatched by Joburg Water was not sufficient to serve all the affected areas with some wards not receiving even a single tank. Important facilities such as the South Rand Hospital that was meant to have been provided a water tank but shockingly received nothing. This is particularly alarming when you consider that the southern suburbs have hospitals, clinics, schools, ECD Centres and retirement. This is not to mention the thousands of residents that have to go about their daily lives without water.
Joburg Water did request councillors to ask residents to store water as, according to Joburg Water, the requests for water tanks might be overwhelming. Although councillors warned the public about this, we did expect to be provided water tanks as advertised. In the end water tanks were not provided.
As the City Mayor and the executive have not yet been elected, the City of Johannesburg currently does not have a government that can be held accountable for this mess. The inaugural Council meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 22 November 2021. As councillors-elect we will be writing to the acting City Manager, Mr Floyd Brink about this situation expressing our dissatisfaction about how this situation has been handled.
Additionally we will be submitting a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application. We will, through our Member of Parliament for Johannesburg South, Hon. Manny de Freitas, submit questions to National Parliament enquiring about this crisis.
Hon. Manny de Freitas MP
Cllr Tyrell Meyers (Ward 23)
Cllr Stuart Marais (Ward 54)
Cllr Rashieda Landis (Ward 55)
Cllr Michael Crichton (Ward 56)
Cllr Faeeza Chame (Ward 57)
Cllr Matsobane Sekhu (Ward 125)