By Makana Municipality Executive Mayor YANDISWA VARA
Makana Municipality would like to express its disappointment with the recent statement issued by our own Councillor Cary Clark in her political capacity in the Democratic Alliance Caucus (Dangerous E.coli levels found in Makhanda rivers, Grocott’s Mail, 7 October).
The information contained in the statement is known, as it has been continuously reported to the Portfolio Committee: Engineering and Infrastructural Services, Mayoral Committee and Council. This has even been reported to relevant Sector departments. Recently, the Portfolio Committee of the National Department of Corporative Governance (COGTA) has even been taken to the discharge point to witness the impact of overcapacity on the watercourses.
The statement also contains inaccurate information regarding the areas affected by the spillages, which this statement will seek to clarify. Our water value system has a start and end point. Our potable water comes from the Glen Melville, Howiesonspoort and Settlers dams. It is then purified for drinking purposes at our water treatment plants.
The dams mentioned in Councillor Clark’s statement are linked to the discharge point of wastewater effluent from the Belmont Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant. This is, unfortunately, an issue that Makana Municipality requires a significant capital injection, financially, to deal with. However, spillages from the Belmont Valley WWTW do not affect the community of Makhanda, but communities downstream, including sources of Ndlambe Municipality.
This is a situation the Makana Municipality is not proud of; hence we are continuously engaging relevant stakeholders in dealing with the situation.
In the Business Plan for the 2022/23 financial year, there are plans to kick start refurbishments and upgrades, with the limited funding of R31 million, which will assist us in doing Phase 1. This will ensure that primary treatment is taking place whilst awaiting long-term solutions.
It is rather disappointing that a municipal Councillor used her political cap to cause panic and attack the Municipality rather than sharing with her constituency and the public what she and the Council she serves in are doing to resolve the problem.