Bone-dry Makhanda (Grahamstown) is falling apart

Makhanda residents queue as humanitarian aid group Gift of the Givers delivers water. Picture: facebook.com

There’s a sense of community. Residents are pulling together… Amongst some of the gloom, there is enormous positivity… Makhanda will survive… but it’s going to require a lot of goodwill…

Jacko Maree, Chairman of Council - St Andrew's College

Gift of the Givers last week withdrew its services in Makhanda (Grahamstown) after a dispute with the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Makhanda is facing an extreme water shortage, and Gift of the Givers stepped in to help.

The organisation – led by the inspirational Imtiaz Sooliman – drilled boreholes and distributed bottled water to parched residents, costing it R15 million to date.

Now it has run into issues with the Department over payment.

They said the moment the money comes; they would give it to us. It was declared a disaster and was gazetted. In March we had a meeting. There it was decided that the money would be paid to us… The department started engaging us a few weeks ago… they said we did all the work and the money should come to us. This week the department said R10 million had come through, but it could not be given to us…

Imtiaz Sooliman, Gift of the Givers

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Jacko Maree, President’s Special Investment Envoy and Chairman of Council at St Andrew's College.

Last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Maree as a “Special Envoy on Investment to the President of the Republic of South Africa”.

His task?

To help bring in R1.2 trillion in investments for South Africa.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

Running a school… we’ve put in boreholes… you have to plan ahead…

Jacko Maree, Chairman of Council - St Andrew's College

If maintenance is not done… you have problems…

Jacko Maree, Chairman of Council - St Andrew's College

It’s been quite good for scholars to learn how precious water is…

Jacko Maree, Chairman of Council - St Andrew's College

The President was there a couple of weeks ago…

Jacko Maree, Chairman of Council - St Andrew's College

This is the story of so many smaller towns in South Africa… Clearly, finances… is a massive issue… there’s little left for infrastructure after salaries have been paid…

Jacko Maree, Chairman of Council - St Andrew's College

Raising the money for the country was going well until about November last year… We had a body-blow with Eskom… it changed the narrative… We are now waiting to see the changes in Cabinet and the implementation of [growth and investment friendly] policies…

Jacko Maree, Chairman of Council - St Andrew's College

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This article first appeared on 702 : Bone-dry Makhanda (Grahamstown) is falling apart


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