The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is dismayed by the current water crisis in Makhanda and the ongoing suffering caused to community members.

As part of its social responsibility programme, IMATU will be supplying drinking water to Home of Joy and McKaizer Old Age Home in Makhanda, as well as contributing to the intervention efforts of Gift of the Givers.

“It is hugely important for IMATU and its members to support and serve our communities. Our shop stewards identified Home of Joy and McKaizer Old Age Home as organisations caring for vulnerable members of our society and most in need of our help. We are in a position to assist with short-term relief, but also believe that sustainable solutions must be found to provide water security for Makhanda residents in the future. IMATU has therefore also pledged R13 000 towards the sinking of boreholes and installing of filtration systems via our donation to Gift of the Givers,” explained IMATU Eastern Cape Regional Manager, Churchill Mothapo.

Makhanda, formerly known as Grahamstown, declared a local state of disaster on 25 February 2019 amidst ongoing water shortages. The town’s water supply has been erratic for a long time, but the situation worsened at the start of this year due to the regional draught and lack of water supply infrastructure maintenance.

“Despite several political resignations, replacements and a newly elected Makana Mayor, our members have confirmed that the situation in Makhanda remains critical. Water cuts have disrupted households, businesses and places of learning, while also creating serious sanitation problems. While depleted dam levels have played a role, poor management, faltering leadership and a complete lack of maintenance of infrastructure has resulted in a water crisis. Our members want to be part of the solution but adequate resources must be channelled towards effective supply chain management, adequate procurement and the creation of a long-term strategy. Sustainable local government requires that the commitment of municipal employees must be met with political will and decisive leadership,” concluded Mothapo.

IMATU Eastern Cape Staff and Makhanda shop stewards will be handing over the organisation’s donations on Tuesday, 19 March 2019.