Nelson Mandela Bay now a disaster area

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 26 March 2010

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Council today (Thursday, March 25) declared Nelson Mandela Bay a local drought disaster area in terms of the Disaster Management Act (Act 57 of 2002).

In addition to this critical drought declaration an application will now be made to the Eastern Cape Provincial and National Government for additional funds to the tune of R1,6 billion to assist Nelson Mandela Bay, incorporating Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Despatch, Colchester and surrounding peri-urban areas, to implement emergency measures.

These emergency measures include amongst others the implementation of a desalination plant (R750 million), fast tracking of the Nooitgedacht Low Level Scheme (R650 million) and effective Water Demand Management (R80 million).

Shortly after the declaration was accepted, the Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile made a call on residents and society at large to appreciate the fact that Nelson Mandela Bay is a water scarce region and the country at large.

“All organs of society, albeit social groupings, churches, trade unions, businesses and residents must all continue to support our efforts to save water.

“We are also working closely together with the Department of Education to ensure that something is done urgently to save water at schools,” Mayor Wayile added.

Furthermore, the declaration of Nelson Mandela Bay as a local drought disaster area provides the necessary leniency in terms of various acts such as the Municipal Finance Management Act and the National Environmental Management Act to implement the emergency projects much quicker.

During this full sitting of Council a decision was also taken that the Acting Municipal Manager, Mr Elias Ntoba, must be authorized to act on all matters relating to the disaster as may be required in consultation with the Executive Mayor.

In addition, Council also approved the Water Services Bylaw for the Municipality which will replace the nine Water and Sanitation Bylaws that govern the provision of water services of the old disestablished City, Town Councils and Transitional Local Authorities. The Water Services Act (108 of 1997) requires Water Services Authorities to set bylaws in place in order to facilitate the provision of water services.

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