CAPE TOWN, South Africa– The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has delivered 664 water tanks out of the 826 allocated and 70 water trucks out of the 84 allocated to the Northern Cape, but the demand for more grows weekly. A further 5000 sanitizers have been distributed since the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic started.
In the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, 241 tanks and 20 water trucks have been delivered and in Frances Baard, 234 tanks and 29 trucks. In the Namakwa 30 tanks and 4 out of the 5 allocated trucks were delivered. Pixley ka Seme received 48 tanks and 8 water trucks and in the ZF Mgcawu Municipality 77 tanks and 12 water trucks were delivered.
The DWS Northern Cape Acting Provincial Head, Mr Kobus Streuders has acknowledged the slow pace at which tanks are installed. “We are aware of the challenge and this comes as a result of the time it takes to construct a brick and cement base structure. It takes 2 to 3 days for the structure to dry before it is ready for the tank to be set up and be operational. Another option we are using, is the steel base structure. It is faster and quicker to assemble, so this option allows us to accelerate the pace of installation. It is however important that the legs must be supported by a suitably flat surface and proper foundation so as to prevent the structure to press into soft and unstable ground and become unbalanced.
“I also want to acknowledge the incredible work that we have been able to do in just 28 days into the National Lockdown of South Africa. This would not be possible if we were not working together as the three spheres of National, Provincial and Local Government, including our Water Entities, Rand Water and Sedibeng Water.
“In his address to the nation this week, on 21 April, His Excellency, the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, reiterated government’s commitment to fighting the pandemic of COVID-19 and its effects.
“The President announced an extraordinary R500billion budget of which R20billion will be made available for, among other things, provision of emergency water to municipalities,” Streuders said.
The provision of water and soap by government is significant in the fight against the coronavirus and has immensely contributed in curbing the pandemic by allowing citizenry to wash hands with water and soap and to frequently sanitise and disinfect surfaces.