City of Johannesburg forces residents to choose between food and water

Issued by Cllr Nicole van Dyk – Shadow MMC of Water and Power
17 Sep 2023 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find an English soundbite by Cllr Nicole van Dyk here, and an Afrikaans soundbite by Nico de Jager MPL, here

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Johannesburg is today calling on the Executive in the City to urgently intervene at Johannesburg Water. This, after residents have been facing severe water shortages.

The fact of the matter is that Johannesburg Water is responsible for the reticulation of water as received from the bulk supplier, who is Rand water. If that proves impossible for whatever reason, they still have a constitutional obligation to ensure their clients have water. That has not been happening, nor will it happen under the hapless leadership of the Doomsday Coalition.

Johannesburg Water is well aware of the reservoirs that are problematic, some reservoirs, like the Chloorkop Reservoir, can only supply water once it is more than 80% full. While the City cannot be held to account for Rand Water’s Failure, they certainly can be for Johannesburg Water’s failure to make provision for issues they are well aware of. Worryingly, Chloorkop is not the only problematic reservoir, but the South Hills Water Tower regularly leaves Johannesburg South high and dry.

When the MEC for CoGTA reveals that we’ve spent R2.4 billion on renting water tankers, one can only ask if that money can’t be spent in a better way to ensure that assistance is available when needed? The answer is that it can be, however, the Doomsday Coalition lacks both the political will and the skill to address these issues.

Without precautions being taken, residents in Johannesburg, especially in areas like Klipfonteinview are left to fend for themselves. Residents have been forced to choose between buying food, or buying water. We will not relent in our fight to ensure that these issues are addressed. If the mayor is truly unable to fulfil his duties, it would be best if resigns.