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Mayor declares local state of disaster

Indicative of the critical water shortage in Nelson Mandela Bay, Mayor Athol Trollip has declared a local state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act.

At a press briefing today the municipality indicated that this disaster declaration will assist in the identification of the necessary resources, personnel and funds to be allocated as well as extraordinary measures taken to limit the usage of water.

The local dam levels are currently at 38.5%. Dam levels are dropping between 3% and 4% per month and could reach dead storage in about four months if the current drought conditions persist.

The Metro has called on all residents and businesses to urgently conserve water, due to the critical water situation in the city.

Mayoral committee member for infrastructure, engineering, electricity and energy Councillor Annette Lovemore said all exemptions on the previous set of water restrictions are effectively lifted and re-application would be necessary.

Lovemore confirmed that residential users are presently on Part C and Industrial and Commercial users on Part B of the Water Restriction Tariffs. Commercial and industrial tariffs have increased from R12.69 to R16.54.

Lovemore urged contractors to make use of effluent water and said the municipality in due course would also make borehole water available at the Motherwell Cemetery.

Mayor Trollip called on businesses in the hospitality industry to stress the conservation of water to their guests visiting Nelson Mandela Bay and to the take necessary steps to conserve water in their establishments.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security Councillor John Best said the Mayor’s disaster declaration on Monday set in motion a process that will be promulgated and gazetted, both provincially and nationally.

Meanwhile Nelson Mandela Bay water and sanitation director Barry Martin said water purification was temporarily seized due to the collapse of the canal supplying water to the Nooitgedagt water treatment works. He said the next 24 to 72 hours would be critical in terms of juggling the water supply to the different suburbs of the city. JoJo tanks will be placed in the affected areas to supply resident with water.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber will keep our members updated of any changes via email and on our social media platforms.