Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 16-05-2019
Humanitarian organization Gift of the Givers has confirmed that it has withdrawn its services in Makhanda following a dispute with the Water and Sanitation Department.
The organization says it was asked to step in to assist Makhanda, formally known as Grahamstown after it faced a major water crisis.
Gift of the Givers says it drew up rescue plans, drilled 15 boreholes and distributed bottled water at a cost of R 15 million to save the city.
In a statement, Gift of the Givers Imtiaz Sooliman says after engaging in lengthy discussions with the Water and Sanitation Department, they have not received a cent from government for the services rendered to Makhanda.
“We've had, without exaggeration, more than 50 hours of meetings, 13 weeks have passed, the town is in crisis (we were called in on every occasion to quell unrest related to provision of water) and government is still having meetings, preparing business plans, filling in forms and God knows what, a typical case of Nero fiddles whilst Rome burns.”
Sooliman says they were eventually told leave the area.
“The best came from DSW on Freedom Day, when President Cyril Ramaphosa, was addressing the nation. They told us to move our trucks as there is no water crisis in Makhanda. Ironically, the president mentioned in his speech that there can be no freedom if there is no water in Makhanda.”
Sooliman says despite all the work done by Gift of the Givers, they were informed by the Water and Sanitation Department that only companies from Grahamstown would be paid for the services and that R10 million of taxpayers money was handed out freely by the government to people as remuneration for work done by the organization.