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Mokonyane commits to preventing total shutdown of CT’s water system

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says she is committed to ensuring Day Zero doesn’t hit the Cape as it would have dire economic consequences.

FILE: Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane at the nearly empty Theewaterskloof Dam. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

PARLIAMENT - Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says she will never allow a total shutdown of the City of Cape Town’s water system.

Parliament’s water and sanitation portfolio committee on Wednesday met to discuss the Western Cape’s severe drought.

Mokonyane says she is committed to ensuring Day Zero doesn’t hit the Cape as it would have dire economic consequences.

Some opposition MPs, however, pushed her to answer how much money she will be providing to boost the building of water infrastructure.

But Mokonyane highlighted there are other areas like the Eastern and Northern Cape where dams are already dry.

She reminded MPs R8 billion has been spent on refurbishing the Cape’s infrastructure over the past five years.

Provincial government officials are insisting Mokonyane declares the Cape a disaster area.

They say this will cut red tape and ensure funding flows quicker into the Western Cape to start major projects like desalination plants.

‘SEVERAL REGIONS ALSO BATTLING DROUGHT’

Mokonyane says she has to consider it’s not only the Western Cape battling drought as several other regions have also been affected.

Officials from the provincial government and the City of Cape Town detailed the crisis and appealed to her for funding for infrastructure.

Mokonyane says she is also concerned about other regions, like the Eastern and Northern Cape provinces where many taps have already run dry.

“We need to appreciate that we’re where we are in the Western Cape because of the national disaster that that has engulfed the country in of the drought, having been protected over the period of three years.

“We have some parts of the Eastern Cape that are severely affected, areas in Limpopo where, all together, there’s no water availability. The boreholes that have dried in the North West...”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)