Beurtwater is SA se voorland na 21 jaar van wanbestuur, nalatigheid, besoedeling en korrupsie


Dit het onder ons aandag gekom dat daar ‘n ernstige water tekort in Thabazimbi omgewing is. Volgens ‘n bron moet inwoners hulle name op ‘n lys plaas om, as hulle gelukkig is, een of twee keer ‘n week ‘n houer water by die munisipaliteit te kry, wat met ‘n waterwa na die omgewing toe aangery word. Indien jou naam nie op die lys is nie kry jy nie water nie.

Inwoners het noodgedwonge begin om opgaartenks in hulle erwe op te rig. Die plaaslike myne probeer ook help deur water met trokke aan te ry wat ongelukkig nie gebruik kan word as drinkwater, of om kos mee gaar te maak nie. Drink water word ten duurste by supermarke in die omgewing gekoop.  Daar is nie water nie!

Dit blyk  ‘n landswye probleem te wees!

Water beurtkrag – voel dit, dit is (byna) hier!!!!

Die rede vir enige potensiële  beurtwater is byna ‘n spieëlbeeld van die rede waarom ons beurtkrag het . Sedert 1994, is miljoene mense by die water roosters gevoeg , maar daar word nie aandag ge gee aan die verhoging van die kapasiteit van die bergplekke en bronne van inname nie. Gekombineer met wanbestuur van water, nie-betaling vir water, groot vermorsing van water deur ‘n gebrek aan onderhoud en verwaarlosing, swak bestuur deur korrupsie,  word  ons in die gesig staar  deur ‘n hoë risiko  van watertekorte wat ons in die volgende paar maande kan inhaal.

Kleiner munisipaliteite gaan die eerste  en die swaarste getref word. Die Munisipaliteit Kannaland (Caltizdorp) het ‘n maand se water oor. Dele van KZN – noordelike Ethekwini, die Suid Kust, en die noordelike landelike gebiede  – staar waterbeperkings in die gesig soos damme begin opdroog.  Groot dele  van Suid-Afrika is op die punt om as ‘n amptelike droogte sone  verklaar te word. Selfs waar water verskaffers  toegang het tot voldoende water voorrade – soos die Lesotho Hoogland Waterskema en die Midmar Dam – sal die spanning hoog wees. Water sal van groot damme na kleiner damme gepomp moet word; besoedeling sal toeneem in riviere en damme as die watervlak daal, water tafels sal daal soos mense meer uit boorgate te pomp.

Terwyl die ernstige droogte die skuld kan kry vir die huidige krisis, is daar ‘n groot element van swak bestuur ook betrokkel. Twintig jaar van munisipale wanbestuur het tuis gekom, wat beteken dat tussen 50 persent en 70 persent van ons vars water deur gebarste pype, stukkende pompe, gebreektekrane en roekelose watergebruik (is die ‘aanvaarbare globale syfer vir die vermors van water 30 persent).

By ons ellendes kan ons ook nog die historiese swak gehalte van die behandeling van afval en riool water voeg deurdat meer as die helfte van ons rioolaanlegte onder standaard presteer waarvan ‘n volle derde van hulle se toestand krities blyk te wees Vars water is nodig om die besoedeling van rou riool  wat in ons damme en riviere, sypel uit te spoel en ‘n droogte sal die beperkte uitvloeisel tot gevaarlike vlakke laat styg.

Die Voorloper in die water beurtkrag  aankondiging is die Ugu-distriksmunisipaliteit in die suide van KwaZulu-Natal, waar dit op 4 Junie aangekondig was deur die plaaslike koerant , dat waterbeperkings in sommige gebiede van toepassing sal wees terwyl daar geskeduleerde water onderbrekings na ander gebiede sal voorkom.. Die twee plaaslike munisipaliteite wat die swaarste getref sou wees is Umuziwabantu (Harding) en Vulamehlo (binneland van Pennington).

Ten einde meer wydverspreide water beurtkrag te voorkom, het Ugu huishoudings en besighede versoek om hul waterverbruik te verminder  met 30 persent. Dit is slegte nuus vir die streek se belangrikste bedryf: toerisme. Vakansiegangers hou nie  toilette wat nie gespoel kan word en droë krane nie. Die water tekort is niks nuuts nie, vir die afgelope tien jaar, het die Suidkus water probleme ervaar tydens die piek vakansieseisoen wanneer  die instroming van besoekers  ‘n stremming plaas op die op die water voorsiening in die gebiedr. Daar is gewoonlik van die die reënseisoen gebruik gemaak om die damme op te vul en die besoedeling uit te spoel. Die reën het vanjaar egter nie opgedaag nie, wat wel opgedaag het is  ‘n groot kopseer vir die Suidkus se water voorsiener, die Ugu Distriksmunisipaliteit.

“Die grootste probleem,” sê die DA Ugu Suid Konstitusie hoof Dr Rishigen Viranna, “is dat vir die afgelope twintig jaar Ugu uit gebrei is vir watervoorsiening aan landelike gebiede en lokasies, met die toevoeging van duisende gebruikers aan wie  water voorsien moes word volgens die regering se mandaat.

Die DA ondersteun dit, behalwe dat hulle nie beplan het om die hoof water bronne, wat twee water aanlegte op die Umzimkulu en Umtamvuma Rivers is,  op te gradeer nie.  Soos meer mense water gebruik het, het die kapasiteit van die twee aanlegte onder meer spanning begin kom.  Die twee aanlegte voorsien 28Ml water per dag. In die vakansie seisoen hardloop  hulle oor  hulle kapasiteit teen 38Ml water per dag.  Maar die streek Ugu benodig  40 ml water per dag te alle tye. Met die aanlegte wat  voordurend teen volle kapasiteit hardloop, is daar geen af tyd vir herstel of instandhouding daarvoor nie. ” AfriForum het ook  die water krisis in Ugu aangevat. “Maande gelede het ons die Ugu Distriksmunisipaliteit ons gevra vir hul water onderhoud splan,” sê Hibiscus Kus- AfriForum-verteenwoordiger Wessel Pretorius. “Maar óf hulle het nie een nie, of hulle  wil nie hê ons moet dit te sien nie. Ons wou hulle eintlik  help. Ons kan beroep op die kundigheid van sowat 80 afgetrede ingenieurs en tegniese kundiges hier op die Hibiscus – kust, maar hulle wil nie hulle samewerking gee nie ” berig hy Op die oomblik is die drie damme in Ugu is minder as die helfte vol en duisende mense ontvang water van tenkwaens as hul enigste bron. Dorpe soos Harding en Murchison, net buite Port Shepstone, het water onluste vroeër hierdie jaar as gevolg van watertekorte, ondervind. (Die werklike rede, sê inwoners in Harding, is dat frustrasie oor swak dienslewering en die gebrek aan water uiteindelik oorgekook het, toe dit aan die lig gekom het  dat die burgemeester vir haarself ‘n nuwe motor gekoop het vir R1 miljoen). “Ons is teleurgesteld met swak watervoorsiening al vir ‘n lang tyd,” sê Murchison se plaaslike inwoner Samkelo Ndwalane. “Ons kry water vir slegs ‘n paar uur ‘n dag, en dan is dit vuil en vol modder.  In Julie verlede jaar, na ‘n paar weke sonder water,het  ‘n groep van ons saam gekom en die burgemeester, ND Gumede gevra, om ons te kom sien en te kom verduidelik. Sy het nooit gekom nie. Die gemeenskap het nou kwaad geword en wou die N2 sluit, maar in plaas daarvan het ons die plaaslike hoofman gevra om die burgemeester te versoek om ons te besoek. Weer sy het nie gekom nie. Teen daardie tyd was die gemeenskap baie kwaad. Daar was ongeveer 5000 van die mense, en hulle het toe besluit om te sluit die N2. “Die hoofweg was weg was gesluit vir  vir ‘n week.. Diensleweringsbetogings regoor die land begin om meer en meer te fokus op watervoorsiening. Waterwese Minister Edna Molewa het by ‘n ontbyt inligtingsessie gesê op  20 Mei 2013 dat tensy ons waterhulpbronne beter gebruik is  daar ‘n risiko dat ons uit vars water gaan hardloop. Die volgende dag het sy in die Parlement gesê dat die gevare van ‘n tekort aan water  oordrewe is en dat ‘Suid-Afrika sal nie uit water sal hardloop in die volgende 100 jaar nie. ”

 

Maar skaarsheid van water hang feitlik heeltemal af van die plek waar jy woon. Gevestigde en funksionerende watervoorsiening stelsels, soos Rand Water en Umgeni Water, wat die groot metro’s van Gauteng en KZN onderskeidelik dien, het verskeie waterbronne in die geval van droogte. Die werklike probleme – en die potensiaal vir ‘n massiewe burgerlike onrus oor ‘n gebrek aan water – lê in die kleiner munisipaliteite waar ‘n enkele of beperkte waterbronne bedreig word deur swak bestuur en korrupsie. Die distrik Ugu eintlik het byvoorbeeld baie water. Die gebied word omring deur twee massiewe riviere. Daar is ‘n aantal damme wat opgevul kan word. Dit is ‘n gebrek aan beplanning wat die huidige tekort geskep het. ‘n Personeellid by die Ugu hoofkantoor, wat anoniem wil bly, het gesê dat die Ugu waterbestuur  was baie bekommerd oor die tekort aan water. “Hulle is waarskynlik meer bekommerd as die inwoners self,” het hy gesê. “Hulle het ‘n langtermyn-plan, ‘n kort termyn plan, en ‘n medium-termyn plan.” Maar dit is onmoontlik om uit te vind wat hierdie plan was, aangesien nie die munisipale bestuurder DD Naidoo, die Hoof van die Dienste vir Water en sanitasie Lungile Cele, of die munisipale woordvoerder Francis Zama, was vir kommentaar beskikbaar nie “Ugu doen  hul beste te doen en dinge  verbeter,” het die hoof van die Hibiscus Kus Belastingbetalers Vereniging Bruce Hulley gesê, “ten spyte van ‘n twintig jaar agterstand in instandhouding en verwaarlosing.raak dinge beter. Dieselfde kan nie gesê word vir ander gebiede in die land nie, soos Noordwes, Limpopo en Mpumalanga, waar watervoorsiening af heeltemal ineengestort het  en die bevolking staatmaak op duur water vragmotors.  In sommige gevalle, soos Brits, is die water aanleg na bewering doelbewus gesaboteer sodat raadslede kan voordeel trek uit water-vragmotor tenders. In Mpumalanga, en veral Ermelo, is die probleem die nie-bestaande instandhouding van infrastruktuur, so enorm dat die water sporadiese derkom deur middel van konstante gebarste pype. ‘N Landwye probleem is staanpype in landelike gebiede en lokasies wat óf gebreek, gesteel of net eenvoudig gelos word om te hardloop totdat reservoirs opdroog. Die meerderheid van die dorp en landelike inwoners verklaar dat hulle nie sou omgee om te betaal vir die water nie so lank dit deur ‘n veilige en betroubare bron verskaf kon word. Of hierdie verklaring l die toets van die faktuur staan ​​moet nog gesien word, maar dit is beslis waar dat mense baie betaal vir water veral … in baie landelike gebiede is daar ‘n ywerige handel van water deur  die eienaars van  boorgate wat die water verkoop aan sy naburige gemeenskap , of deur ‘n plaaslike hoofman wat die sleutels van die krane hou. Verlede maand het die Departement van Waterwese ‘n Water Week geloods, om te wys op die belangrikheid van die behoud van water in die gesig van ‘n nasionale tekort vanjaar. Hul tema was “Wat as dit die laaste druppel was. Dit is ‘n ontnugterende gedagte vir enigiemand wat skielik uitgevind het dat ‘n droë kraan te danke aan ‘n gebarste pyp wa. Dit is ‘n daaglikse werklikheid vir miljoene mense regoor Suid-Afrika. Dit kan ‘n daaglikse werklikheid word vir ons almal.

Artikel in menings oorspronklik Deur Daily Maverick..  

ENGLISH:

Water-shedding: Feel it, it is (almost) here NIKI MOORE  SOUTH AFRICA 25 JUN 2015 12:56 (SOUTH AFRICA)  If you think load-shedding is bad, brace yourself for water-shedding… coming to a tap near you. South Africa is fast running out of water, with the worst drought since 1992 leaving dams at critical levels and diminishing rivers and streams. By NIKI MOORE. The reason for any potential water shedding is almost a mirror image of why we have load-shedding. Since 1994, millions of people have been added to the water grid with very little thought being given to increasing the capacity of water storage or water intake plants. Combined with mismanagement of water, non-payment for water, huge water wastage through lack of maintenance and neglect, and poor governance through corruption, we are facing a high noon of water shortages that might start affecting us in as soon as a few months. Smaller municipalities are going to be hit first, and hardest. The Kannaland Municipality (Caltizdorp) has a month of water left. Parts of KZN – northern Ethekwini, the South Coast, the rural north – are facing water restrictions as dams dry up. Much of South Africa is about to be declared an official drought zone. Even where water utilities have access to adequate water supplies – such as the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme and the Midmar Dam – the strain will be immense. Water will have to be pumped from large dams to smaller dams; pollution will increase in rivers and dams as the water level decreases, water tables will drop as people pump more from boreholes. While the current crisis can be blamed on the severe drought, there is a large element of bad governance as well. Twenty years of municipal mismanagement has come home to roost, meaning that between 50% and 70% of our fresh water is being wasted through burst pipes, malfunctioning pumps, broken taps and reckless water use (the ‘acceptable’ global figure for non-revenue water is 30%). Adding to our water woes is an historical accumulation of bad waste-water treatment: fully half of our waste-treatment plants are operating below average standards and fully a third are critical. Fresh water is needed to flush out the pollution of raw sewage oozing into our dams and rivers, and a drought will concentrate effluent to dangerous levels. Leading the water-shedding charge is the Ugu district municipality in southern KZN, where it was announced through the local newspaper on 4 June that some areas would have water ‘restrictors’ installed while in other areas there would be scheduled water interruptions. The two local municipalities hardest hit would be Umuziwabantu (Harding) and Vulamehlo (inland from Pennington). In order to prevent more widespread water shedding, Ugu is asking households and businesses to reduce their water consumption by 30%. This is bad news for the region’s most important industry: tourism. Holiday-makers don’t like unflushable toilets and dry taps. But the water shortage is nothing new. For the last ten years, the South Coast has experienced water problems during peak holiday season as the influx of visitors puts a strain on the water grid. The rainy season has usually been counted on to refill the dams and flush out the pollution, but this year the rains did not arrive. What did arrive: a huge headache for the South Coast’s water utility, the Ugu District Municipality. “The main problem,” says the DA Ugu South Constituency Head Dr Rishigen Viranna, “is that for the last twenty years Ugu has been expanding water supply to rural areas and townships, and adding thousands of users to the water grid, which is its mandate. The DA supports that, except that they have not planned to upgrade the main water sources, which are two water plants on the Umzimkulu and Umtamvuma Rivers. As more people have been using water, the capacity of the two plants has come under more and more strain. The two plants supply 28Ml of water per day. In peak season they run over capacity at 38Ml of water per day. But the Ugu region needs 40 Ml of water per day at all times. With the plants running at full capacity all the time, there is no downtime for repair or maintenance.” AfriForum has also taken on the water crisis in Ugu. “Months ago we asked the Ugu District for their water maintenance plan,” says Hibiscus Coast AfriForum representative Wessel Pretorius. “But either they don’t have one, or they just don’t want us to see it. We actually wanted to help. We can call on the expertise of around 80 retired engineers and technical experts here on the Hibiscus Coast, but they don’t want to work with us.” At the moment the three dams in Ugu are less than half full and thousands of people receive water from tankers as their only source. Towns such as Harding and Murchison, just outside Port Shepstone, had water riots earlier this year because of water shortages. (The real reason, says locals in Harding, is that frustration about poor service delivery and the lack of water finally overflowed when it was revealed that the mayor had bought herself a new car for R1 million). “We have been disappointed with poor water supply for a long time,” says Murchison local resident Samkelo Ndwalane. “Water comes on for only a few hours a day, and then it is dirty and full of mud. In July last year, after several weeks for no water, a group of us got together and asked the mayor, ND Gumede, to come and see us to explain. She did not come. The community got angry and wanted to close the N2, but instead we asked the local chief to request the mayor to visit. Again she did not come. By that time the community was very angry. There were about 5,000 of the people by then, and they decided to close the N2.” The highway was closed for a week. Service delivery protests around the country have begun to focus more and more on water supply. Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said in a breakfast briefing on May 20 2013 that unless our water resources were better used, there was a risk of ‘running out of fresh water’. The following day she told Parliament that the dangers of a water shortage had been exaggerated and that ‘South Africa will not run out of water in the next 100 years.’ But scarcity of water depends almost entirely on where you live. Mature and functioning water supply systems, such as Rand Water and Umgeni Water, which serve the large metros of Gauteng and KZN respectively, have multiple water sources in case of drought. The real problems – and the potential for massive civil unrest over a lack of water – lies in the smaller municipalities where a single or finite water source has been compromised by poor management and corruption. For instance, the Ugu district actually has plenty of water. The area is bracketed by two massive rivers. There are a number of dams that can be topped up. It is a lack of planning that has created the current shortage. A staff member at the Ugu head-office, who refused to be named, said that the Ugu water management was extremely worried about the water shortage. “They are probably more concerned than the residents themselves,” he said. “They have a long-term plan, a short-term plan, and a medium-term plan.” However, it was impossible to find out what this plan was, as neither the municipal manager DD Naidoo, the Head of Services for Water and Sanitation Lungile Cele, or the municipal spokesman Francis Zama, were available for comment. “Ugu is doing their best and things are improving,” said the head of the Hibiscus Coast Ratepayers Association Bruce Hulley, “despite a twenty-year backlog of neglect. Things are getting better.” The same cannot be said for other areas in the country such as North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, where water supply has broken down completely and the population rely on expensive water trucks. In some cases, such as Brits, the water plant has allegedly been deliberately sabotaged so that councillors can benefit from water-trucking tenders. In Mpumalanga, and especially Ermelo, the problem is non-existent maintenance of infrastructure so that water is maddeningly sporadic through constant burst pipes. A countrywide problem is standpipes in rural areas and townships that are either broken, stolen or simply left running until reservoirs run dry. The majority of township and rural residents declare that they would not mind paying for water as long as a secure and reliable source is provided. Whether this declaration will stand the test of billing remains to be seen, but it is certainly true that many people pay for water anyway… in many rural areas there is a brisk trade from the owner of a borehole selling water to the neighbouring community, or a local chief who holds the keys to the taps. Last month the Department of Water Affairs launched Water Week, stressing the importance of conserving water in the face of a national shortage this year. Their theme was ‘What if this were the last drop’. That is a sobering thought for anyone who has suddenly found a dry tap due to a pipe burst, and it is a daily reality for millions of people throughout South Africa. It could become a daily reality for us all.

DM Photo: A young boy drinks water from a tap metres from the Juskei river that runs through Alexandra township in Johannesburg not knowing that it is the most polluted river in Southern Africa and this mostly because of human waste. EPA-PHOTO/EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

 

 

Enjoyed this post? Share it!