Makana Municipality promises to pay Gift of the Givers for relief efforts
Port Elizabeth - The Makana Municipality in the Eastern Cape is in the process of determining how The Gift of the Givers (GoG) will be compensated for its work done in the water scarce town of Makhanda, formerly known as Grahamstown.
This after the humanitarian organisation withdrew its services earlier this month when it emerged that the municipality would pay R10 million to companies from Makhanda for drought intervention work, despite Gift of the Givers undertaking huge emergency relief projects including the drilling of boreholes.
Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said at the time, on a matter of principle Gift of the Givers would leave the town, along with its Jojo tanks and filtration systems they had brought in to relieve the municipality’s water crisis.
The intervention had cost the NGO R15 million thus far, said Sooliman.
In February, the organisation brought in a specialist hydrologist who struck liquid gold when he found drinking water at his first drilling attempt into a rock formation. The organisation went on to drill 15 boreholes.
Gift of the Givers arrived at the municipality at a critical time after the drought had left dams in the west critically low and some residents had been without water in their taps for weeks.
On a daily basis clean drinking water was delivered to local and rural communities, the water quality of the boreholes was tested, and Jojo tanks were installed in communal areas.
In a statement, the Makana Municipality has since changed its tune and said it was assessing costs for work done by the NGO . Previously the municipality had said that the organisation had undertaken to do work entirely on "risk".
"Currently we are in the process of trying to determine how we can compensate them for the work they have already done. Officials from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, the municipality and GoG have assessed the work that has been done and costed it."
The municipality said a report was being compiled to clarify the amount of work done and the costs involved.
"As the institution we are looking at the modalities of paying the GoG the costs of the work they have done." The municipality also apologised for "any misunderstandings" that occurred leading up to the process asking that the issues not negatively impact its relationship with the NGO.
African News Agency/ANA