Nelson Mandela Bay assures water is safe

By Proffesor Ndawonde

Nelson Mandela Bay - The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has assured the local community that their tap water is safe to drink.

"We would like to assure the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay that their water supply is safe to drink," said Councillor Mtutuzeli Tokota, Standing Committee Chairperson of Infrastructure, Engineering, Electricity and Energy.

This follows the municipality receiving a Blue Drop Score of 85 percent and 99 percent for drinking water quality compliance by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs on Tuesday.

The Blue Drop Report was released in Tuesday at the Drinking Water Quality Conference in Port Elizabeth which was attended by the newly appointed Minister of Environment and Water Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica.

The main reason for not achieving the 97 percent minimum compliance for the Blue Drop Certification was as a result of some of its standard operating procedures going undocumented in a format prescribed by the department.

The municipality has recently experienced challenges at the Rocklands Water Treatment Works.

However, according to a statement by the municipality, the high levels of aluminium that were previously experienced in the water supply as well as the levels of trihalomethanes have been addressed.

"We are committed to ensure that the status quo remains and we will strive to achieve even higher consistency levels," said Councilor Tokota. - BuaNews

Health departments settle Nestle debt

Pretoria - Provincial Health Departments have been directed to settle their debt to Nestlé South Africa which provides certain state hospitals with infant formula.

Nestlé last week suspended deliveries of infant formula to hospitals in three provinces which had monies outstanding.

"Departments had been directed to settle their debt to Nestlé as a matter of urgency, to prevent jeopardising the health and welfare of HIV-positive babies in particular," said national Health Department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe.

He said that the department could not let the situation continue and therefore intervened where necessary to ensure that provinces meet their financial obligations to the suppliers.

Nestlé Southern Africa Region spokesperson Theo Mxakwe said he appreciated the efforts made by the national health department to ensure that provincial health departments fulfil their obligations and settle outstanding debts.

"The department immediately recognised the difficulty we faced in continuing supplies, and has acted speedily to do what it can to ensure the matter is resolved."

He said he expected the outstanding payments to be made soon and Nestlé will then resume deliveries as has already happened in Limpopo. - BuaNews