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ANC requests commission of inquiry over CT drought crisis

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Yonela Dika says they submitted their request on Friday afternoon.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille visiting Wemmershoek Dam. Picture: Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape has requested President Jacob Zuma set up a commission of inquiry into the drought crisis in Cape Town.

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Yonela Dika says they submitted their request on Friday afternoon.

“Our view is that according to the research being done by various experts, including the Department of Water and Sanitation, households only consume 12% of the water resources. Agriculture is the biggest consumer of water resources with 60%.”

On Thursday, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille announced that day zero is no longer a theory but reality.

As of Thursday, Cape Town dam levels stood at 28.6%.

WATER TARIFFS

Capetonians can expect to pay more for water from the first of February if they do not meet the target of 50 litres of water per person per day.

Council has on Friday decided to scrap a proposal for a drought levy, but it has approved heavy water tariff increases along with Level 6B restrictions.

The special council meeting also decided to curtail de Lille's powers to manage the drought crisis.

The executive director in her office, Craig Kesson, who accused de Lille of covering up corruption, has also been stripped of his job as the city's chief resilience officer, responsible for managing the city's water task team.

As of next month, households using 6,000 litres of water per month can expect to pay about R113 more, while those charges for those consuming 50,000 litres will increase by around R17.80.

There are three more tiers of tariff increases.

The ANC, African Christian Democratic Party and Freedom Front Plus say they have reluctantly agreed to the increased tariffs, while the Economic Freedom Fighters has reserved comment.

Council has also decided that de Lille must consult her mayoral committee before taking further decisions on the water crisis.

But she says she was not consulted. “Because due process was not followed before this amendment came before council, that it is reviewable. Lastly, I have not been consulted as the executive mayor as this is directly related to me.”

Craig Kesson will be replaced by Gisela Kaiser as the city's chief resilience officer to lead the water task team.
She will report directly to Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson and mayco member Xanthea Limberg, and no longer de Lille.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)