Port Elizabeth – President Jacob Zuma has not exactly endeared himself to the people of Nelson Mandela Bay which, considering that the ANC faces a tough battle in the metro in next year’s local government election, is not particularly clever.
Before last year’s poll, Zuma arrived in the metro with a bevy of ministers and a commitment was given to provide the additional R360 million needed to fund the completion of the Nooitgedagt Low Level water scheme, which is needed if the metro is to have enough water in a time of drought.
The drought is here – but the money is not – with municipal officials telling the Municipal Public Accounts Committee last week that Treasury officials had “laughed off” their pleas for more money, while the Development Bank of Southern Africa had also rejected a funding application.
One newspaper headline last week reflected the mood: “Zuma duped us”.
Load shedding has made the situation worse as power is lacking to fill the reservoirs, which means they have run low. The metro is now facing water restrictions next month, and does not have the financial resources to finish the scheme and so alleviate the situation.
Quite predictably, the DA is enjoying every moment of the embarrassment caused to the ruling party, attributing the looming water restrictions to “Zuma’s broken promises”.
Happily lifting a line from the EFF, DA caucus leader Retief Odendaal said: “Pay us the money.”
That could well become a call that will be heard very often in the weeks and months leading up to next year’s poll.
Article source: http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/watershed-for-anc-1.1821848