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QwaQwa situation perpetuated by false news
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) under the leadership Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s has been working tirelessly in an effort to bring relief to the people of QwaQwa, especially since Minister’s visit to the area.
Sedibeng Water has thus been given directive to immediately address water supply challenges in QwaQwa, and ensure that the desired end result is water availability and water through the taps in the long run.
During her visit to QwaQwa late last month, Minister Sisulu declared that 10 water tankers will be delivered as part of the interim measures taken to address water challenges. This undertaking has been fulfilled.
The theft of batteries on 7 February 2020 from these trucks has deeply shocked and disappointed the Department. A full investigation will be launched into the theft of the batteries and those involved will be prosecuted. Community members who have any information regarding this criminal act are requested to share it with the local law enforcement agencies. This act is not a theft against the Department but to all who live in QwaQwa as these trucks are forced to cease delivering water to the people. This further delays the immediate relief that could have happened.
Video footage and photos of water being flushed away and mismanagement of drought relief funds have also been doing the rounds on social media. This is seemingly a tool utilized to spark more outcry and protests from the community. Many of these videos are false and misleading. Some videos from other parts of the world and others even from years ago are made to seem like the current updated material. This is a sign that there is a deliberate move to undermine the Minister an DWS intervention, leading to distrust of government’s intentions.
The community should be weary of such false news and be careful not to share without verifying the nature and intent of such material.
Furthermore, Sedibeng Water has also been hard at work in an effort to refurbish dysfunctional reticulation infrastructure in QwaQwa as part of the intervention. This dysfunctional infrastructure is the responsibility of local government. As the national department, the DWS is intervening in order to alleviate the emergency situation, but is not responsible for reticulation. That is the domain of local government which the department will support without taking over its responsibilities.
While these processes unfold, it is the Department and Sedibeng’s intention to ensure that all proper procurement processes are followed and that the Public Finance Management Act is adhered to, in order to avoid any prospects of irregular expenditure. The R220 million set aside for this intervention will not go to the wrong hands.
Minister Sisulu appeals to community members to exercise patience while the Department, working with all the stakeholders in the area, addresses their plight within the confines of the law and National Treasury prescripts. The community is also requested to stay clear from rivers especially as heavy rains can cause flash floods which can endanger lives.
Water should always be used sparingly in an effort to conserve this precious resource
Source: Government of South Africa
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