24/01/2018 16:21 SAST | Updated 24/01/2018 16:21 SAST

Water Dept Says Blaming Govt For #DayZero Is 'Petty Politics'

"It is not about blame shifting," says department of water and sanitation over DA accusations that it failed to fulfil its mandate.

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The department of water and sanitation (DWS) has said that the current water crisis in Cape Town should not be "about blame-shifting", and that it is doing all it can to help the water-restricted Western Cape.

Read: Maimane: DA Taking Fight To Government To #DefeatDayZero

After Western Cape premier Helen Zille and DA leader Mmusi Maimane publicly blamed minister Nomvula Mokonyane and her department for not finding solutions to the water crisis in the province, HuffPost spoke to Sputnik Ratau of the DWS.

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Ratau said: "It is not about blame-shifting – as the department, we are not going to get into the politics. As a department, we have successfully intervened and saved several provinces who were devastated by the drought over the [past] three years, and will continue to do so in Western Cape as well."

Ratau also described the DA calling out national government for not living up to its Constitutional responsibility as "petty".

"Our mandate for water provision and support knows no politics, and we will not be drawn into petty political squabbles while the people and economy of Western Cape are on the verge of a possible water-supply blackout," he said

As it stands, Day Zero is now expected on April 12. In his criticism of the DWS, Maimane also asked 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 – it was national government's responsibility.

The DWS has responded to the water crisis by quoting Mokonyane on Twitter, and said the department continues to make Day Zero its priority.