Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Cllr Marieta Visser and Sesotho by Karabo Khakhau MP.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned by the recent water crisis in Masilonyana Local Municipality, which has left two towns without water for several days. The root cause of this can be attributed to sheer incompetence on the part of the municipality.
The problem arose when Eskom cut the electricity supply to Theunissen Water Treatment Plant, a critical facility supplying raw water to both Brandfort Water Treatment Plant and Theunissen Sewer Plant, due to non-payment of outstanding accounts. This unfortunate event follows a similar occurrence a few weeks ago when electricity was cut to B and C stations for the same reason. Consequently, Brandfort was left without water as the pump at station C remained inoperable for days.
It is disheartening to note that the municipality only takes action to solicit payment and restore electricity after the reservoirs have run dry. This lack of foresight and proactive measures by the municipality has had a severe impact on the affected communities.
Furthermore, the absence of a Chief Financial Officer since last year has further exacerbated the municipality’s inability to fulfil basic financial and other related obligations. The delay in appointing qualified individuals to key positions, including the appointment of an acting CFO, hampers the municipality’s capacity to address such critical issues promptly.
The DA will continue to advocate for change, pressing for transparency, accountability, and efficient local governance. We stand united with the residents of Masilonyana and remain committed to amplifying their voices and addressing their concerns.