South Africa: DA Stumbles Through Water Crisis in Nelson Mandela Bay With Conflicting Messages

analysis

Claims of the 'likely' sabotage of a major reservoir in Nelson Mandela Bay were denied on Monday by DA Mayor Nqaba Bhanga as officials and councillors battled to get their story straight over an extensive water outage in the metro that has continued since late last week and could go on until Wednesday.

Large parts of Nelson Mandela Bay have been left without water for the past five days after what was first described as a major pipe burst, then a second pipe burst coupled with delays due to a security threat, a third pipe burst in a river bed and claims of possible sabotage thrown into a chaotic mix of political puffery, bad communication and confusion.

The metro is in the grip of a devastating drought, with dam levels hovering around 10% and predictions that its supply dams will run dry within the next few months unless the area receives significant rainfall in its catchment area. The metro does, however, receive a significant amount of water from the Orange River through the Nooitgedacht Scheme and will as a result avoid a Day Zero scenario.

The metro's mayor, Nqaba Bhanga, returned from sick leave after a serious car accident to...

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