Residents of Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape are demanding a sustainable solution to the water crisis gripping the town.

The main supply dam of the town has been dry for months now. An organisation called the Port Alfred and Nemato Infrastructure Concerns (PANIC) held a protest in town to air their demand for water. During peak season, the demand for water in Port Alfred tops eight megalitres per day. The residents blame the Ndlambe Local Municipality for this crisis. A member of the civic organisation, Johan Van Zyl, says this is impacting on tourism.

“Port Alfred has no industry other than tourism when the guest house close down because they don’t have water, tourist choose alternative destinations and December is our main source of income. It has a severe impact, loss of jobs, lot of people are trying to recover from COVID and they depend on December,” says Van Zyl.

The Director for Infrastructure in the Ndlambe Municipality, Noluthando Vithi Masith, says they are working around the clock to resolve the water problem.

“There will still be shortfalls to an extent that we negotiating with farmers around to have given us a leeway to using their boreholes to have more water given the fact Port Alfred is a holiday destination and people are not backing up because there’s a water issue and  we don’t want the economy to suffer because we don’t supply water,” Vithi Masith explains.

VIDEO: Government aims to provide sustainable water solutions in Eastern Cape