AfriForum approaches legal team on power and water crisis in Parys

AfriForum today consulted with their legal team on the power and water crisis in Parys. The crisis stems from Ngwathe Local Municipality’s non-compliance with their repayment agreement with Eskom to pay off their debt of R1.54 billion. As a result, Eskom reintroduced rotational load shedding. On Friday 1 July, after load shedding, the power kicked out due to overload and Eskom refused to switch on the power for fear that it could damage their equipment.

The municipality had to pay approximately R1.1 million to restore power supply, this payment was only made on Monday 4 July. The power was restored again from 20:00 after Eskom had to do repairs. At this stage, Eskom provides only enough amperes so that the weak municipal network can handle it. As a result, the community has been without power for long periods of time and some residents have not had power yet.

The lack of electricity also means that little to no water can be supplied to the greater Parys area. AfriForum has already reached an agreement with Ngwathe Local Municipality at the end of 2021 where the organisation has made recommendations to the municipality on what to do to get the waterworks and the sewerage works in a good working condition. Unfortunately, the municipality did not carry out a single recommendation.

“This is an indication that the municipality is simply not prepared to provide proper services to the community. As a civil rights organisation, we cannot sit by and watch communities being harmed in this way, which is why we consulted with our legal team on the best plan of action in this situation,” says Alta Pretorius, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Mooi River. 

“The local AfriForum branch has already distributed 17 000 liters of water in the community this week. Urgent and drastic action is needed here to solve this problem,” concludes Pretorius.

The community is encouraged to get involved with this AfriForum branch in order to make a real difference: SMS “Parys” to 45344 (R1).

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