Free State water crisis worsening

The water crisis in the Free State is worsening, according to Roelf Jacobs, a member of Free State Agriculture’s Water and Irrigation Committee.

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It has been reported that the Kopanong Local Municipality lost between 55% and 61% of all purified piped water during the past three financial years. This represented a total loss of 8,6 million kilolitres of water, and a financial loss of R42 million.

“The province simply can’t afford such wastage. The citizens of the Free State need to work together to hold the state accountable to their responsibility as custodians of the province’s resources,” Jacobs said.

Responding to a question posed by the DA in the provincial legislature, Free State MEC of Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements, Olly Mlamleni, said that it was unknown exactly how much water had been lost in the Setsoto Local Municipality during the 2014/2015 financial year. From 2011 to 2014 the purified water losses in the municipality averaged about 79%, amounting to 66,5 million kilolitres of water lost.

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Over the past three financial years, the Mangaung Metro lost almost 90 million kilolitres of piped water, which amounted to a total loss of more than R400 million, according to a statement by the DA.

Mlamleni did not respond to a request for comment by Farmer’s Weekly.