NEWS
24/01/2018 13:48 SAST | Updated 24/01/2018 14:36 SAST

Maimane: DA Taking Fight To Government To #DefeatDayZero

Mmusi Maimane takes political control of "our respective governments' responses to the situation" and assembles a #DefeatDayZero team on the water crisis.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane held a media briefing on Wednesday in which he discussed what was "really happening" regarding the water crisis in Cape Town. He attacked national government for not fulfilling their mandate to provide water.

Our mission is clear. We must defeat Day Zero.Mmusi Maimane

The hashtag #DefeatDayZero was on the agenda as Maimane briefed the crowd at the Joseph Stone Auditorium. He said it was time for decisive action.

Read: Zille Slams Minister And Department Of Water and Sanitation

His decisive action, he said, was taking political control of "our respective governments' responses to the situation" and assembling a #DefeatDayZero team to fight the water crisis.

As it stands, Day Zero has now been moved forward nine days to April 12. Public unhappiness and confusion over how the DA is running Cape Town and responding to the crisis motivated Maimane to get involved.

Neil Hall / Reuters

"All DA governments are accountable to me," he said. "I am not fully satisfied with the way the city has responded to the drought crisis – its communication, in particular, has fallen short.

Read: How To Save Water 101 – Helen Zille Gives Us Pointers

He also said that "both the city and province are currently considering legal action to compel the national government to act".

However, while he was speaking, members of the audience disrupted Maimane, accusing him of "lying". The uproar followed his statement that national government was not fulfilling its mandate.

When things settled, Maimane went on to ask why more dams had not been built, saying it was a misconception that it was the role of the city of Cape Town to do so. Dam planning and building is a national government responsibility falling under the department of water and sanitation and the department of public works.

Prior to #DefeatDayZero, Western Cape premier Helen Zille had publicly blamed water and sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane and her department for not finding solutions to the water crisis in the province.

Maimane went on to explain the solutions being implemented to fix the water crisis, and said the DA would unapologetically "go after" residents who for no good reason exceed their allocation.

How the DA intended to do this, when they cannot determine per-capita usage from total household usage without knowing the exact numbers residing on each property, he did not explain.