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UD-Express
Petition started against NMBM as water crisis continues

AFTER struggling with intermittent water supply to the western and northern areas of Nelson Mandela Bay, a businessman from Kabega Park has started an online petition against the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Morné Rossouw said he started the petition because there was an extreme dismantling of service delivery in the metro. He said he had been reporting faulty street lights in Opal Street, Kabega Park, since end of March, but was apparently told that there were no light bulbs in stock.
“It has now been more than 170 days and still nothing has been done about this,” he said.

“This is not a way to live within a metro. We might as well just downscale it to a village.
“Our rates and taxes are paid, but we don’t get the services. I also want to emphasise that it is an apolitical thing that also has nothing to do with race, because we are all in the same boat.
“We need to hold our roleplayers accountable.
“If we can only get a million people to say that enough is enough, we would already be making a huge difference.”
Rossouw added that he recently drove along Circular Drive and witnessed clear, clean water streaming into drains. This is apparently due to a pipe which has burst three times.

“They should’ve noticed after the second burst that there was a huge problem. I don’t want to move mountains; I just want service. If you took office, just do your job,” Rossouw said.

At the time of going to print the online petition (www.change.org/nmbmlistenup) had more than 7000 signatures. The metro has been experiencing problems with the water supply since the start of September.

One of the reasons for this is two power outages over the course of two days at the Nooitgedacht Low Level Water Scheme, which affected the supply.

MMC for engineering and infrastructure in the metro, Mongameli Bobani, said that the main reason for the water outages was that residents were still using too much water. The current average consumption is approximately 290 Megalitres per day, which is too much for the metro to supply. Residents are supposed to use only an average of 268 Megalitres per day or less.

“As the metro we can tell you that we are on Day Zero because we are using more water than we actually have in our dams. The metro will continue to experience intermittent water disruptions as the demand outweighs the supply.

“There is no significant rain predicted for the next three months and residents must continue to use only 50 litres per person per day,” Bobani said. He added that he had recently held a meeting with his officials to discuss the possibility of employing plumbers around the areas of the metro where leaks were a major problem.

The appointed plumbers should hail preferably from these areas. “Sometimes it is challenging if you call about or report a leak and someone is in town and not familiar with a place in Motherwell, for instance.

“That is why the option is being explored of appointing people from those particular areas.”

Bobani is set to submit this report to council for approval. The NMBM had reportedly already attended to more than 15 000 reported leaks across the metro from May and the outstanding ones will be attended to by these plumbers.

“We would like to apologise to the residents for the inconvenience caused but this crisis is beyond our control. There is not enough rain and our dams are getting drier by the day,” he said.

Municipal spokesperson, Mamela Ndamase, said that the NMBM was not yet aware of this petition. “Petitions are handled by the petitions office. Once we have been informed about this petition, we will be able to comment on it.”

  • At the time of going to print on Wednesday, the overall dam levels were standing at a combined level of 18.88%
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