Humanitarian organisation, Gift of the Givers, has accused the Western Cape Government of not managing the province’s water crisis adequately.
This after drought stricken municipalities in the Karoo appealed directly to the organisation for help. It delivered 150 000 litres of bottled water to Beaufort West last week.
It’s now heading to Laingsburg as the town’s main source of water, Soutkloof Fountain, has dried up.
Western Cape Gift Of The Givers’s Ali Sablay says: ” Beaufort West municipality has been calling us directly. Laingsburg has phoning us directly. We just received a call from the Gamkwa area stating they are also in a drought area the local hasn’t taken into consideration all the tourists who will be travelling through these towns of course there will more usage so if this has to do with proper planning if the money was given to Gift of the Givers all of this would’ve been avoided.”
But the Department of Local Government is digging in its heals and maintains there is no crisis.
Western Cape Local government ministry spokesperson, James-Brent Styan says: “With regards to the situation in Laingsburg there is drinkable water in Laingsburg this is another reason why proper channels need to be followed not a social media posts not posts by from a NGO and there is not single town in the Western Cape that is without drinkable water, that has run out of water.”
Styan however admits there are water shortages. “There is water shortages in many of the Karoo towns that is a fact. This is very often exacerbated at times of high demand these little towns in the Karoo use reservoirs and these reservoirs are filled with boreholes and the boreholes obviously don’t pump as hard as a river. So it takes a while to fill a reservoir. So when there high demands, town reservoirs run dry very quickly then there’s a water shortage.”
The NGO says these vital interventions come at a price. Tens of millions of rand from its coffers has already been spent.
Funding from the Western Cape Government, as promised since March 2018 is still not forthcoming.
The department of local government denies this, but Gift of the Givers says it has proof to substantiate its claims.