Gigaba gives City of Cape go-ahead to reallocate money for much-needed water projects

31 October 2017 - 08:39
By Aphiwe Deklerk
Malusi  Gigaba . Exploring all options. Pic:Trevor Samson
Malusi Gigaba . Exploring all options. Pic:Trevor Samson

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has given the green light for the City of Cape Town to tweak its budget to be able to fund its water projects aimed at addressing its water shortages.

On Monday‚ the city said Gigaba had finally given the city the go-ahead to reallocate money from its current budget to fund the critical water projects. The City has not indicated how much they plan to reallocate for water projects.

The city is currently at risk of running out of water due to the drought situation — the worst in 100 years — and it is running out of time to kick start its water augmentation projects.

The projects include desalination‚ water reuse and groundwater abstraction‚ which the city hopes will yield an extra 500 million litres a day. 

But the city had found itself in a tight corner after Gigaba had failed to reply to its requests to make the adjustments.

But in a statement on Monday mayor Patricia De Lille said Gigaba had finally given her administration the thumbs up.

“The go-ahead from the Minister allows me as executive mayor to immediately incur and approve unforeseen and unavoidable expenditure in terms of the [Municipal Finance Management Act]‚” said De Lille.

She said the green light meant the city no longer had to call a special council meeting to ask for the adjustments to be approved.

“I want to thank minister Gigaba for responding as this will assist us in speeding up the procurement process‚” said De Lille.

Last week‚ during her speech in a full council meeting‚ De Lille said Gigaba had not replied to her requests‚ which she made in August this year.

“My request has not been responded to by the Minister except for officials in Treasury asking for clarity which we gave and in the past two months there have been numerous follow-ups to the Minister’s office and an appeal to the Presidency‚” De Lille said at the time.

In her statement on Monday‚ De Lille said water consumption was down to 585 million litres of collective use per day.

“I want to thank you Cape Town for your all your efforts and for being partners as we adapt to the New Normal. We will not allow a well-run city run out of water‚” said De Lille.

She said dam levels were at 38.5%.