Riyaz Patel

The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) has accused the ANC of being complicit in the water crisis that has left many residents of Free State without a stable water supply.

While the heatwave has rapidly increased the evaporation rates, adding more pressure to the dams which supply the high demands of Free State residents, the FF Plus is adamant that the current situation has the ANC’s “incompetency” written all over it — especially in the case of the Mangaung Municipality.

The heatwave that has hit most parts of the country has had a devastating impact on the state of dam levels. In the Free State, the overall capacity of dam levels stood below 35%. As of Wednesday, 30 October, Free State dam levels read as follows:

Free State water crisis: The current state of dam levels as of Wednesday, 30 October:

Kalkfontein Dam (23,7%)
Rustfontein Dam (25,9%)
Groothoek Dam (30,2%)
Sterkfontein Dam (91,5%)
Gariep Dam (74,4%)
Krugersdrift Dam (78,6%)

In a bid to save water, the local government has ordered water restrictions in the metro.

However, the FF Plus says that all of this would have been avoided if the ANC-led metro had taken care of preventative water loss issues in 2018.

In a statement, the party’s Armand Cloete noted that water losses “caused by poor upkeep and leakages that are not repaired are the greatest contributing factor to the water shortage in the Free State.”

He further went on to state that, in the 2017/2018 financial year alone, the Mangaung Municipality wasted as much as 36-million litres of water per day due to preventable water losses.

“The municipalities under ANC control appear to be the greatest water wasters. If Ntombela and ANC municipalities do not take urgent action to address the poor maintenance and lack of expert officials in municipalities, Day Zero will become a reality in the Free State,” Cloete warned.

While the ANC certainly can do very little to influence the impact of climate change, Cloete noted that preventable wastage is something that rests in the hands of the governing party.

“The Free State may not lose water, even in normal rainy seasons, due to leakages and illegal connections. The Free State cannot afford to suffer due to the ANC’s crisis management any longer,” he noted.


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