ANC-Led Setsoto fails to address drought contingency plans in time

Issued by Riette Dell – DA Councillor Setsoto Local Municipality
21 May 2024 in Press Statements

Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Cllr Riette Dell and Sesotho by Jafta Mokoena MPL.

The residents of Setsoto are facing an unprecedented water crisis as the ANC-led local government neglected to get essential drought contingency measures in place. The Meulspruit Dam, a critical water source for the municipality, has plummeted to a mere 3% of usable water, and the Caledon River is at an alarmingly low level. It is estimated that there are about 3 weeks of water supply left in the Meulspruitdam. This will affect Ficksburg and later Clocolan and Marquard as well.

The municipality which cited drought as a risk factor on every Infrastructure 80 committee Bulk Water report for the last two years, as well as climate change in the IDP, has failed to take any action.

The DA has raised alarm about the risks of drought and the SSDF engaged with the technical department about the maintenance of sand pumps. None of this resulted in any action.

Even with the physical indicators since February after the rainy season, the municipality has failed to implement and maintain crucial infrastructure designed to mitigate the effects of drought in Ficksburg, Caledonpark and Meqheleng.

Installed sand pumps and boreholes, since being neglected, allowing for widespread vandalism have been left to fall into disrepair. This abandonment has not only squandered significant financial investments. A contractor has only been sent to investigate and provide a quote this week.

The government’s inaction is putting our communities and families at risk. People can’t survive without water.

We call for immediate action and accountability from the ANC-led government. The lack of maintenance and security for the water infrastructure is seen as a clear failure to prioritise the welfare of the people.

We need transparency and urgent action. This crisis could have been mitigated with proper planning and maintenance. The residents of Setsoto deserve better, therefore urge all residents to vote in the 2024 National and Provincial Government elections on 29 May.