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Duarte: Water crisis concerning for ANC

There's been speculation the crisis could cost the ANC votes in the 2016 local government elections.

ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte has told Eyewitness News the Gauteng water crisis shows how officials need to up their game and that top managers are too aloof.

Major parts of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane were without water for almost two weeks after Rand Water said cable theft and power cuts meant it couldn't pump water to its reservoirs.

There's been speculation the crisis could cost the ANC votes in the 2016 local government elections.

Duarte says the water crisis is a concern for the ruling party.

"Worries about the Metro city are that we just need it to jack up its game, it's got to get over this thing of the billing system and the water problems and Johannesburg electricity."

She says the city's top officials must work for their money.

"I am certainly behind pushing the municipal managers and the chief executive officers (CEOS), who earn quite a lot of money, to do their jobs."

Duarte also says technicians need to have access to CEOs when machinery isn't working.

BLAME GAME CONTINUES

The blame game continues, with Rand Water now shifting the blame to local officials.

The water utility remains adamant that water was restored to all affected areas in Gauteng by the end of Monday morning.

Spokesperson Justice Mohale says, "All the areas that were affected had water."

He says the utility has done its job by supplying water to municipalities and that if certain areas are still experiencing interruptions, the problem may be at a local level.

"Maybe the municipalities on their own have other things to do, remember, they control the system. There's something that they're doing."

Rand Water says residents who are still affected by the recent water crisis should contact its call centre to explain the extent of the problem.

HIGH RISK AREAS IDENTIFIED

At the same time, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has identified high risk areas in need of special monitoring.

Diepsloot, Midrand and parts of Ekurhuleni have been cited as high risk areas for water supply.

Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo says a team will visit those areas today to establish the facts around the extent of residents' water problems.

The Democratic Alliance however has now called on Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane to come clean and reveal the real underlying problems that led to the water crisis.

The opposition party's Leon Basson says poor maintenance, no back up response management and a lack of technical competence are at the base of the crisis, which it claims is heading for a repeat.

"They've got no planning on the table, their maintenance was bad and they've got pipe leakages and cable blow outs."