MORE than two months since being submitted by a councillor, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality still cannot answer questions on the planned purchase of rainwater tanks for low-income houses without roof guttering.
Acting municipal manager Elias Ntoba told the council last Thursday he had still not received answers to questions put by DA councillor Gustav Rautenbach.
Speaker Helen Sauls-August said the replies must be sent to him in writing within seven days.
An angry Rautenbach said the questions were submitted more than two months ago and it was “unacceptable” that they were still unanswered.
The Herald revealed earlier this year the city planned to buy 1000 rainwater tanks for RDP houses without guttering, saying the water would be collected for domestic use. It was also revealed the city planned to fork out R7500 as part of a “rainwater harvesting” initiative for the 5000-litre tanks, which can be bought online for as little as R2700 and probably less in bulk.
In a memo to executive directors at the time, strategic planning and integration sub-directorate head Sithembele Vatala said the city intended “to implement the piloting of the 1000 units for the RDP houses with immediate effect”.
It had the “institution’s support” and Ntoba was “awaiting a report”.
In the memo, Vatala said the water crisis “calls for desperate measures”. The project would “revisit the old practice of rainwater harvesting in South Africa against the backdrop that the country is water- scarce, with a history of huge inequities in the distribution of both land and water resources, coupled with the fact that the country is fast reaching the limits of what is achievable from a conventional water supply-oriented approach to meeting ever growing demand”.
In addition to being cheap, it could “contribute to improved health”.
Patrick Cull – The Weekend Post Online
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