ACDP Member of Parliament Marie Sukers today met with activists and community leaders from Warrenton in the Northern Cape who have been battling for months on end with the Magareng Local Municipality to fix their water woes.
Marie Sukers says that “Warrenton residents feel forgotten as they have been without water supply since 21 February this year. The state at which water was supplied by the municipality was already unacceptable, but the flood, which caused the banks of the Vaal River to break, worsened the situation when it damaged the main water pipeline.”
Sukers said, “Warrenton residents and community leaders reached out to my constituency office, based in Kimberley, due to a breakdown in communication between them and the Magareng Local Municipality.”
The lack of basic service delivery resulted in Warrenton residents protesting against the municipality, leading to a breakdown in communication. Warrenton resident, Jan Louw, at the meeting said, “We are unable to raise our concerns with the municipality because they have interdicted us from making any contact.
“Apart from the serious concerns about people being able to access the water points, and water being allocated to homes by way of political affiliation, we are legitimately concerned about the construction of the R15m permanent water pipeline that looks like a disaster waiting to happen.”
Many Warrenton residents lament the interim emergency water supply plan, earmarked to cost around R800 000, of which some R654 000 is said to have been spent, as ineffective. Some residents allege that only homes who had favourable political affiliation to those in charge at the municipality would get water. Further to this, residents claim that corruption and maladministration is adding to the frustrations they already experience with the non-supply of water and sanitation.
Sukers says, “The lack of disaster risk management strategy implementation, and issues around emergency water supply, is forcing people in Warrenton to live in inhumane conditions.
“The ACDP is in the process of requesting the environmental and social impact reports, from the Departments of Water and Sanitation and COGTA, for the assessments that were conducted for the construction of the main water pipeline – based on the communities’ concerns.”
“Our immediate priority, however, as the ACDP is to step in and ensure that water is supplied to all residents in Warrenton, and not just to some who are affiliated favourably with a certain political party,” Sukers added.