Suspended Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille’s submission to the DA’s federal executive paints a picture of the City’s project managers more focused on office furniture than dealing with the impending water crisis.

De Lille’s submission, dated January 5 and addressed to the DA’s federal executive chairperson James Selfe, claims that the water resilience plan devised months ago was not being implemented and that even up until three months ago officials had yet to come to grips with the crisis unfolding.

“At some of the very first meetings, it was astounding to hear feedback from project managers who, when asked for updates on the plans to get additional water, instead spent a great deal of time talking about furniture for the ‘war room’ for the water resilience team,” she said. “Instead of receiving substantial feedback on the actual delivery of water and commencement of projects, senior project managers spoke about desks and other office furniture needed for the war room and the costs to set it up,” she added.

De Lille’s fierce submission detailed a year ago when Cape Town’s water situation needed to address urgently some officials did not believe there was a crisis and according to reports did not realise climate change was affecting the water supply. In October last year, her submission revealed that the water resilience plan created months in advance was not moving ahead. “It was apparent that the plan had veered off course and the commitment of the second date in October for ‘new water’ to come online would not come to fruition,” De Lille said.

“It was incumbent on me to step into the management of the water crisis even more hands-on and more frequently,” she said.

De Lille is accused by her colleagues of misconduct and bringing the party into disrepute. The City council may debate a motion of no confidence against her this week.

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