Statement by ACDP MP, Marie Sukers

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

ACDP to approach Human Rights Commission on Warrenton water crisis

Jul 31, 2023

The ACDP notes the visit of the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr Senzo Mchunu, to Kimberley. It is a shame that the Minister could not add Magareng to his schedule given the water crisis this area has had to endure for almost six months.

We have sent several correspondences on the ongoing crisis to the Ministry, calling for urgent intervention, and to receive updates on when water will be restored to Warrenton. In addition, we welcomed the release of over R5 million in disaster relief funds to address this water crisis in Warrenton, but what this community needs is accurate and honest answers from the Magareng Municipality and the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.

This week, community leaders in Warrenton notified the ACDP that they have lost hope that the crisis will be resolved due to failure by the municipality to indicate progress on the water pipeline. Our enquiries on the issue, again, was met with silence, which is deeply concerning given the responsibility of the municipality to be open and accountable.

At this current time water tankers do not deliver water daily, and over the weekend. As a result, not all people receive water. People line up from as early as 05h00 in the morning for water, and while the water tanker truck fills the JoJo tank, with people filling their buckets, the JoJo tank is quickly left empty again even before the filling truck leaves. Those who wake up late are then left without water for another two days.

The ACDP is yet to receive reply to our request for an audit to be undertaken on the upgrade of the Water Treatment Plant project in Warrenton which is valued at over R90 million. Our request for a ministerial visit, due to the length and seeming inability of the municipality to resolve the matter, has been met with deafening silence too.

We have been told that there is no contractor on site repairing the temporary water pipeline, and that the CWP and unskilled labourers are working on the pipe. According to people in Warrenton, it is alleged that the Magareng Municipal Manager paid unskilled workers, from his own pocket, after the contractor left the site, to fix the temporary pipeline, after which they started to complain about being promised that they will be paid R200 a day.

The ACDP has had sight of the electricity box, that plays part in the pumping of water from the river to the reservoirs, which has been vandalised. It is being claimed that there is a syndicate operating within the municipality that is responsible for the vandalising of equipment that is meant to help restore water in Warrenton.

It is rather unfortunate and saddening that where cases of theft and vandalism have been reported at the Warrenton SAPS, they simply do not have the capacity or resources to investigate.

The ACDP will be lodging a complaint at the Human Rights Commission, on behalf of Warrenton residents, regarding their 6-month-long water crisis.

-ENDS-

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