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.
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.
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."
What the Premier and leader of the DA have sought to do is to absolve themselves of their responsibilities in the management of the water crisis through an attempt to mischievously create scapegoats and shift the blame on the seriousness of the water crisis to national government— Water&SanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) January 24, 2018
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
Additional officials have also been deployed from the department to the province to strengthen our compliance and enforcement capabilities in the province to ensure that water-users comply with restrictions and that we deal effectively with any transgressions. #DayZero— Water&SanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) January 24, 2018
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.
"What the Premier and Mmusi Maimane are trying to do is to shield the province and their organization from accountability on the water crisis by shifting blame on the issue to National Government without acknowledgment of the interventions implemented thus far...— Water&SanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) January 24, 2018
The DWS has responded to the water crisis by quoting Mokonyane on Twitter, and said the department continues to make Day Zero its priority.
Minister Mokonyane: Defeating Day Zero has been and continues to be our main priority and the work that has been done over the last year will continue with increased urgency to ensure we guarantee access to water for citizens #DayZero— Water&SanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) January 24, 2018
Minister Mokonyane will over the next few days hold several follow-up meetings with the various stakeholders to assess progress on the implementation of current interventions and an assessment of new interventions necessary to avert #DayZero.— Water&SanitationRSA (@DWS_RSA) January 24, 2018