The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on Thursday thanked the Gift of the Givers, which announced its withdrawal from drought-stricken Makhanda.
“The department fully appreciates the amount of work done by the Gift of the Givers in the area and believes that the drilling of boreholes will go a long way in assisting government’s efforts to avert the shortage of water for the community of Makhanda,” said the department.
The DWS stressed that it has noted with concern misinformation suggesting that it has not supported the Gift of the Givers in their relief efforts.
“The media reports have even gone to an extent of insinuating that the department has reneged in its commitments made to the Gift of the Givers and Makanda Local Municipality.
“These reports are not true and the department would like to state that, as per the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and relevant legislations, the department’s responsibility, in areas classified as disaster areas, is to allocate Drought Relief Funds to the affected Municipality,” it said.
The department had “lived up to this responsibility“ by transferring R22 million to Makhanda for the sole purpose of assisting them to deal with drought challenges in the area.
“The manner in which that money is spent is the responsibility of the concerned municipality and the department does not dictate or interfere with how that money is spent and which service providers are used,” it said.
It added that any agreement entered into between the municipality and the NGO was a matter between the two parties.
“We hope that whatever differences they are currently having can be resolved as speedily as possible so that the work that we are all discharged with can continue as fast as possible without any delays, without compromising the municipality’s supply chain processes and adherence to the Municipal Finance Management Act.”
Meanwhile, the department will continue to support Makana Local Municipality in ensuring water security in the area and other responsibilities such as operation and maintenance of water treatment works.