ANC Chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, has said that it is unacceptable that the people of Brandfort have been living without water for close to three weeks. Mantashe further said that it was unacceptable that people are facing water challenges and the municipal mayor has not been communicating with residents on what the challenges are as well as when the matter will be sorted out.
Mantashe said upon his arrival at the town, he first asked where the municipal mayor was. As he said this, the crowd at the memorial answered him in unison saying she was sick and unable to attend the memorial. Mantashe responded by saying “She got sick on the wrong day. She should be here, telling us what is happening with the water situation. She is supposed to communicate, assessing whether or not the problem has been fixed or is still persisting,” Mantashe said.
He further said that when the problem persists and she does not communicate with her residents, that is when people start to lose confidence in the ANC and its leadership in government. He added that he would soon make an unannounced visit to the quiet Free State town. “When I arrived I asked where the Municipal Manager and the Mayor were.”
He said based on the current political mood, he believes that the ANC will win the 2019 elections, however, with that win comes an expectation that it should live up to all its promises to the people from those who voted the party into power. “Our people have hope but our people also have an expectation that if they votes us in, we must not let them down. Our people want us to act decisively with the necessary speed,” he said. He was speaking at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s memorial lecture in Brandfort, where residents stood in long queues outside the community hall where the memorial was held, waiting for water. An unnamed resident stated that it had been more than three weeks that the town was without water and this was crippling many areas of basic service delivery in the area. Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said he was unaware of any water problems in the area but he would look into the matter.