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City's handling of water leaks contributed to water crisis - CT opposition

But opposition councillors claim that the municipality was warned more than a decade ago about the looming crisis and that it failed to take the necessary steps to deal with water loses.

Water leaks. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties in the metro council believe the Democratic Alliance-led City of Cape Town has failed to deal with water leaks that contribute to the current water crisis.

Council on Wednesday approved Level 4 water restrictions as the metro's dam levels continue to plummet under the drought conditions.

But opposition councillors claim that the municipality was warned more than a decade ago about the looming crisis and that it failed to take the necessary steps to deal with water loss.

ACDP councillor Grant Haskin says the city's own audited financial statements show that Cape Town will lose 72 million kilolitres of water at a cost of R289 million.councillor Grant Haskin says the city's own audited financial statements show that Cape Town will lose 72 million kilolitres of water at a cost of R289 million.

"Councillor Kempthorne paints a picture that the city has been in control of this problem since 2001. If it had, then growing water consumption per household wouldn't still be a concern but it is. The city would have resolved the growing water loss problem, which is still a problem.

ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe says the city has to improve infrastructure maintenance.

"The leakage rate in this city of Cape Town is very high and we really want that resilience committee to look at the aging infrastructure that we have and make sure that these leaking pipes are repaired.

Mayor Patricia de Lille says they've employed by additional staff to respond to water leaks.

"We are still aiming to have our frontline response to be quicker and because of the water shortage, the number of complaints have doubled, tripled because are now more aware of what their usage is."

De Lille says the Water and Sanitation department has set the city a target to reduce its leakages to 20 percent and it has managed to bring it down to 14%.

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