Water crisis in Makhanda a microcosm of SA's looming health catastrophe - expert

Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown), in the Eastern Cape's Makana municipality, is in the grips of the worst water crisis in its history.

Erratic water supply, failing sewage infrastructure, the toxicity of water in the region and the increase water-borne diseases are some of the troubles which have hit the area.

Newly-appointed Makhanda mayor Mzukisi Mpahlwa says the ongoing drought, coupled with striking municipal workers, compound the situation.

702's Eusebius McKaiser hosted panel of guest to discuss the current crisis in the historic town that is home to Rhodes University.

He was joined by the mayor, activist Ayanda Kota, Gift of the Givers hydrologist Dr Gideon Groenewald, water expert Dr Anthony Turton and other callers.

The mayor concedes that the situation is unacceptable and says that newly appointed top management wants to turn the situation around.

We have identified a number of boreholes that we have sunk to be able to help provide water to communities of Makhanda.

Mzukisi Mpahlwa, Makhanda Mayor

However, Dr Turton says that local governments have continuously failed in their oversight function, technical abilities and responsibility to deliver adequate basic services.

He adds that dysfunctional municipalities across the country are putting the nation on the brink of national health crisis.

What's happening in Makhanda is an example of what is happening in at least 60% of our municipalities.

Dr Anthony Turton, water researcher

The major crisis is water service provision, but specifically around sewage.

Dr Anthony Turton, water researcher

Meanwhile, Kota, the leader of the Unemployed Peoples' Movement (UPM) says the community group has filed a court bid that the municipality be collapsed.

He describes scenes of sewage flowing through the streets in the informal areas and the struggles involved in accessing fresh water.

Kota says that when water does come out of the taps, it is often contaminated and appears to be a brownish colour, containing sludge.

The water crisis has severe implications for health, hygiene and sanitation in the area, affecting poor people and the sickly the most, he adds.

Kota has slammed the mayor and says that municipal officials have not engage the community on the crisis.

We can attribute the water crisis to three things, including corruption.

Ayanda Kota, chairperson of the Unemployed Peoples' Movement

In this municipality, we live without water for for days or even weeks without any word from Makana municipality.

Ayanda Kota, chairperson of the Unemployed Peoples' Movement

They have endangered the lives of many people.

Ayanda Kota, chairperson of the Unemployed Peoples' Movement

Charity organisation Gift of the Givers has been helping with relief efforts in the small town since earlier this year.

Volunteer hydrologist Dr Gideon Groenewald says that Gift of the Givers has found some points of clean drinking water sources after drilling in the area in February.

We're not interested in the politics or governance. Our involvement is too stabilise the situation.

Dr Gideon Groenewald, Gift of the Givers hydrologist

Listen to the in-depth discussion on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:


This article first appeared on 702 : Water crisis in Makhanda a microcosm of SA's looming health catastrophe - expert


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
[LISTEN] Discussing the psychology of happiness

[LISTEN] Discussing the psychology of happiness

Clinical psychologist Hayden Knibbs we almost open the doors to joy if there are currently are things that create happiness.

Tips on how to recover from infidelity

Tips on how to recover from infidelity

Dr Eve says if what you are doing will hurt your partner then that is infidelity.

[LISTEN] Prison rape: A survivor tells his story

[LISTEN] Prison rape: A survivor tells his story

Isak Sass shares his story with Eusebius McKaiser and the rest of the 702 listeners.

702 listener shares how a good deed on Mandela Day changed his life

702 listener shares how a good deed on Mandela Day changed his life

Patrick says he met Thokozile Mahlangu on Mandela Day and his life changed for the good.

What are your rights when you're retrenched?

What are your rights when you're retrenched?

Labour law expert Ronelle De Jager explains the retrenchment process and employees rights.

Grahamstown to be renamed Makhanda after Xhosa warrior

Grahamstown to be renamed Makhanda after Xhosa warrior

Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced a name change for Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape in the Government Gazette.

Popular articles
47% probability of the rand crashing in next 12 months - Rand Merchant Bank

47% probability of the rand crashing in next 12 months - Rand Merchant Bank

The writing is probably on the wall for the resurgent rand. Bruce Whitfield interviews John Cairns, a Strategist at RMB.

'Old Mutual claimed they were the cheapest. They were the most expensive!'

'Old Mutual claimed they were the cheapest. They were the most expensive!'

Personal Finance's retired founding editor Bruce Cameron on his attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures...)

'Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane made lots of mistakes and simply lied'

'Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane made lots of mistakes and simply lied'

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane lied and acted in bad faith, the ConCourt ruled. Bruce Whitfield interviews Dr Cathy Powell.

How to live off a dread disease benefit

How to live off a dread disease benefit

Personal finance advisor Warren Ingram discusses "dread disease benefits", typically paid out as a lump sum.

'It's about time too!' DJ Fresh on his new 947 gig  #FreshOn947

'It's about time too!' DJ Fresh on his new 947 gig #FreshOn947

The news that DJ Fresh would be joining 947 was dominating on social media on Monday with the hashtag #Freshon97

Vaginal ring effective in HIV prevention, study shows

Vaginal ring effective in HIV prevention, study shows

The ring offers an alternative to taking an oral pill every day and needs replacing just once a month.

Brand new business hub to help startups get off the ground  - CPT

Brand new business hub to help startups get off the ground - CPT

It's being dubbed a 'one-stop-shop' for entrepreneurs and startups looking for opportunities in the Mother City.

'A lot of people may have wanted him dead.'  - Who killed Mark Batchelor?

'A lot of people may have wanted him dead.' - Who killed Mark Batchelor?

A Sunday newspaper report has suggested the soccer ace's death may have been linked to a missing stash of cocaine.

Paying off your credit card every month to avoid interest? The banks are sneaky…

Paying off your credit card every month to avoid interest? The banks are sneaky…

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler warns prudent credit card holders to keep tabs on their banks. In this case, it’s FNB.