Ramaphosa uses Freedom Day speech to highlight water crisis in Makhanda

Gift of the Givers distributed 120,000 litres of water for free after the event, as its almost two-month long R22-million intervention draws to a close.

President Cyril Ramaphosa celebrates Freedom Day in Makhanda, Eastern Cape. Picture: SA Government.

MAKHANDA, EASTERN CAPE – President Cyril Ramaphosa has used his Freedom Day address in Makhanda to highlight the water crisis there, which was brought on by drought and mismanagement.

But a water expert said the drought will get worse before things get better.

Ramaphosa has told those who attended celebrations at the Joza Sports grounds that South Africa cannot be a nation of free people when residents in places like Makhanda have to go without a reliable supply of water.

Gift of the Givers distributed 120,000 litres of water for free after the event, as its almost two-month-long R22-million intervention draws to a close.

The organisation's water hunter, Geologist Gideon Groenewald, says his personal opinion is the drought isn't over:

"It is highly likely, statistically highly likely that Makhanda and the Eastern Cape will not see enough inland rain to fill the reservoirs before September 2019."

Despite some rain last week, the dams are still only 7% full.