Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has publicly blamed Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and her department for not finding solutions to the water crisis in that province.
"She has been nowhere. The Department has no money. Bankrupt. Worst audit outcome in the country -- billions on unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure."- Helen Zille
In a series of tweets, Zille said the City of Cape Town was not at fault and blamed national government, which she said was "reluctant" to build the Berg River Dam, that could have helped avoid the current water crisis.
Ppl are right that Cape Town was warned in 2002 about a pending water shortage. They are WRONG to claim the City did nothing. We fought hard with a reluctant nat Govt, to build the Berg River Dam. It would have sufficed till 2022 had it not been for this unprecedented drought.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) January 23, 2018
HuffPost editor-in-chief Pieter du Toit asked if there was any sense of urgency from Mokonyane to help find solutions, to which Zille responded that the minister has been "nowhere".
She has been nowhere. The Department has no money. Bankrupt. Worst audit outcome in the country -- billions on unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. They didn't even undertake the projects they had committed to, let alone their mandate of bulk water supply.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) January 23, 2018
Let us assume, for argument's sake, that the National govt did warn Cape Town that we would run out of water. Well, if the national dept had this foresight, why did they not boost bulk supply, which is their mandate in terms of the Constitution and the National Water Act?— Helen Zille (@helenzille) January 23, 2018
On Wednesday morning, the department of water and sanitation tweeted that it would be conducting a water-compliance blitz in cooperation with the City of Cape Town.
Good morning South Africa, the Western Cape Department of Water and Sanitation together with the City of Cape Town will be conducting a water compliance blitz to ensure water users comply with the latest restrictions and regulations #SaveWater #ThinkWaterCT— Water&SanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) January 24, 2018
In a video posted on Twitter, deputy director-general for strategic and special projects, Trevor Balzer, explained what steps the department was taking to intervene in the drought crisis in the province.