The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, is expected to discuss his Department’s possible intervention in the metros’ water crisis in Nelson Mandela Bay this week.
As Day Zero looms, Executive Mayor Eugene Johnson reportedly received correspondence from the Minister in this regard.
Meanwhile, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Joint Operating Committee for Drought Mitigation met on Tuesday to deliberate on mitigating measures as supply dam levels are at 12.4% of combined capacity.
According to a statement, the Director of Water & Sanitation, Joseph Tsatsire, told the meeting that the City’s Drought Mitigation Action Plan was prepared with the National Department of Water and Sanitation.
The mitigation plan includes the implementation of a drought campaign, water restrictions for the reduction of water consumption, and maximisation of the water supply from the Gariep Dam via the Nooitgedagt-Coega low-level scheme.
Other mitigation measures under consideration include the desalination of seawater at Schoenmakerskop, investigating local groundwater schemes and drilling boreholes in the catchment area.
Earlier on Friday, the metro announced the establishment of a communications task team to augment and add capacity to the city’s communications efforts, led by the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA).
The task team includes representation from the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber and presented progress on the new and innovative campaign to drive a change in water consumption behaviour across the city.
Luvuyo Bangazi of the MBDA said the new campaigns’ approach aimed at driving societal change in mindset and behaviour.
“Citizens, businesses, civil society, and the government should be aware that long term mitigation interventions will not help defer day zero in the short term; only a change in water consumption, to less than 50 litres per day per person, will push back day zero,” he said.
Bangazi reported on progress in developing Covid-19 WhatsApp robot enabled tools for ease of communication, supported by intensive advertising, social media campaign and street by street citizen mobilisation.
On Wednesday, the team will start recruiting ward-based water-saving ambassadors to drive door to door campaigns and loud hailing.
In preparation for day zero, the metro said it started constructing water collection points, communal water tanks, and related interventions.