By Thys Khiba
Parys – The Democratic Alliance has laid criminal charges against the Ngwathe Municipal Manager, Bruce William Kannemeyer, and the Director of Technical Services, Thami Malunga, for their alleged joint failure to deliver water to its residents and who continue to suffer water supply problems for the fifth week in a row now.
“This action was taken after the DA councillors in Ngwathe had since 18 July 2021 interacted with the Municipal Manager and the Director of Technical Services, but to no avail,” said MPL – DA Constituency Head for Ngwathe, Mariette Pittaway.
The opposition party confirmed that their councilors offered their further assistance to the Ngwathe Local Municipality by agreeing to cover the cost of a leaking pipe that was indicated to be the cause of the persistent water problems.
According to the DA, the true reason behind the water supply problem affecting the specific area of Parys was that water valves were closed illegally and unlawfully by Ngwathe officials to divert more water to other parts of the Municipality at the expense of the North-Eastern areas of Parys.
The DA claim that various residents informed them that besides the deliberate tampering with valves, there also appears to be a political agenda behind the deliberate water cuts to their area.
“The DA laid criminal charges in terms of the Constitution, the Water Services Act, as well as the National Water Act for the joint failure by the Municipal Manager and Director of Technical Services to ensure equitable and fair access to water supply in Parys, despite having knowledge of the unlawful activities related to the tampering and interference with these waterworks,” said Pittaway.
The opposition party says it is non-negotiable that local governments must ensure that water supply services and sanitation services are provided in a manner which is efficient, equitable and sustainable.
Meanwhile, the DA confirmed that they have also reported the matter to the Human Rights Commission. The DA says although Ngwathe borders on the Vaal River, the Free State is a water scarce province.
“The non-adherence to these legislative prescripts by the Municipal Manager and Director of Technical Services, have the effect of not recognising that water is a scarce national resource and that the ultimate aim of water resource management is to achieve the sustainable use of water for the benefit of all users,” said Pittaway.
At the time of publishing this article, Free State Central News couldn’t get a view of the Ngwathe Local Municipality.
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