Gift of the Givers Withdraws from Makhanda

We have been inundated by calls from the media to confirm if we are withdrawing from Makhanda. The answer is "Yes". There has been no disagreement with the Makhanda Municipality, they have been excellent. The municipality, university, the multicultural community, political parties, SAPS, B and B establishments, learners, tourists and students gave us the most memorable reception that anyone could ever have dreamt of.

On 9 February the municipality requested our assistance and said in five days everything will be back on line in terms of water supply. Gift of the Givers intervened on 12 February and explained to the municipality the extent of the problem was far greater than anyone envisaged. We drew up a rescue plan and commenced the process of "saving the city" immediately. We advised the municipality that the cost to solve the problem will be in the region of R23 million and that this will require government funding. They said the area has been declared a disaster in the government gazette and they will receive emergency funding with which they will remunerate Gift of the Givers. They were honest, were not sure how much they would receive and when they would receive it. We said it's fine, their word was good enough for us. We were told that at a council meeting in March it was a unanimous decision that Gift of the Givers will be funded the moment the funds arrive.

Gift of the Givers brought in specialist hydrologist, Dr Gideon Groenewald, to site and drill boreholes in an area where the geology is very difficult and finding water a big challenge. He was successful in 3 hours with the first borehole. We successfully drilled 15 boreholes, tested the water which is a huge cost, brought in special filtration systems designed by us, delivered bottled water, water by truck and did everything possible to assist the community as that was the priority. In all this time we had not received a single cent from any government institution. The costs were rising daily. Thus far the intervention has cost us R15 million. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DSW) started engaging us. 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. But 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.

This week we received the most incredible feedback from DWS. They said only companies from Grahamstown can be paid for the drought intervention so accordingly, a private consultancy will be paid R1.2 million for work related to boreholes (we did the consultancy work, drew up a plan to save the city and sited the boreholes), another company will be paid R7 million for boreholes (which we drilled) and a third company will be paid R1.9 million for electrical work to connect boreholes which we drilled at Waainek (and which we have not be compensated for) to the treatment plant. This is R10 million of taxpayers money handed out freely by the government to people as remuneration for work that Gift of the Givers did. Our hearts are with the people of Makhanda, the elderly, the women and children and everyone who waited so patiently for water but as a matter of principle we cannot continue.

  • pic1

Makhanda Declared a State of Disaster.

Makhanda Declared a State of Disaster.
Sarah Baartman Municipality (which includes Makhanda) has been declared a Local State of Disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002. The declaration is published in the Government Gazette of 25 February 2019. Currently, due to reduced dam levels on the west and damaged filters on the east there is a shortfall of 13 megalitres of water per day. For the first time during Gift of the
 Read more  

3rd Borehole Drilled at Settlers Monument, Grahamstown

3rd Borehole Drilled at Settlers Monument, Grahamstown

Opening of the 3rd borehole in Grahamstown at the Settlers Monument. This centre hosts roughly 40 events annually and is one of the main attractions in Grahamstown.

One of the biggest science events is scheduled to take place next week right here where over 30 000 pupils from all around the country will converge. This festival was on the verge of being cancelled due to the current drought

 Read more  

Gift of the Givers Strikes Pure Drinking Water in Makhanda

Gift of the Givers Strikes Pure Drinking Water in Makhanda
Dr Gideon Groenewald, Gift of the Givers hydrologist, geologist and palaentologist, has done it yet again. At his first attempt he has found pure drinking water at 145m at Makhanda producing 20 000 litres per day as a very conservative estimate.

Tomorrow the drilling rig will be positioned at other sites with a similar rock formation where it is expected that higher yields of water will be found
 Read more  

Drought Crisis in Eastern Cape Alarming

Gift of the Givers intervened in Makhanda at short notice last week thinking that this was the only region in the Eastern Cape requiring water on a temporary basis until infrastructure was repaired, which was expected to take five days.

We have subsequently received calls from Riebeeck East, Amathole District (Queenstown) where over 50 000 people in 100 villages are without water for several
 Read more  

15/02/2019 - Makhanda Institutions Receive Bottled Water

15/02/2019 - Makhanda Institutions Receive Bottled Water

Gift of the Givers delivered Bottled Water to all the ECD's, schools, hospitals, Old Age Homes and Police Stations around Makhanda (Grahamstown). Water was also dropped off for the community at the various collection points.

Gift of the Givers is grateful for the assistance received from SAPS, Eastern Cape Traffic Control and SANDF.

 Read more  

13/02/2019 - Distribution of Water and Siting of Boreholes in Grahamstown Today

13/02/2019 - Distribution of Water and Siting of Boreholes in Grahamstown Today
There were jubilant shouts of "amanzi", with faces beaming in disbelief as people ran towards our trucks entering Grahamstown. Nine days of no water, nine days of desperation. The crowds, including many university students, gathered outside the municipality eagerly awaiting whatever they could get. Our teams commenced delivery whilst Dr Gideon Groenewald, Gift of the Givers hydrologist, briefed
 Read more  

Grahamstown on the Verge of Day Zero. Rhodes University in Danger of Shutting Down.

Grahamstown on the Verge of Day Zero. Rhodes University in Danger of Shutting Down.
Makhanda (Grahamstown) is in serious trouble, water speaking. Settlers Dam is at 13%, water cannot be extracted from the last 10% due to high silt levels, effectively it has 3% reserves. Waainek Water Treatment Works that receives water from the very much smaller Howiesons Poort Dam had a problem with its pumping capacity due to electrical failure recently and was out of service for a few days.
 Read more  

A Dry Gouritz River

A Dry Gouritz River

The Gouritz river has been dry for the last 4 years due to the devastating drought in the Karoo. It runs thru Leeu Gamka, Laingsburg, Prince Albert, Albertina and Mossel Bay.

 Read more  

Pallet Housing

Pallet Housing

Gift of the Givers had provided pallets to farmworkers in Sutherland. This is the type of house built by them out of their own creativity.

 Read more  

01/2019 - Limpopo Clinics Receive Water Purification Powder

01/2019 - Limpopo Clinics Receive Water Purification Powder

Gift if the Givers delivers bottled water and water purification powder from Proctor and Gamble to 2 clinics in Limpopo. The patients from nearby villages still consume water from the river posing a huge risk to their health.

The Malepo and Mamushi clinics additionally received:

3 x bulk packs of adult diapers
4 x boxes of cotton wool
3 x bulk packs of baby diapers
1 x box of hand sanitizer
3 x

 Read more  

50 000lts to Kannaland Municipality

50 000lts to Kannaland Municipality

Gift of the Givers handed over 50 000lt of Bottled Water to the Kannaland Muncipality which is part of the Klein Karoo.

The Gift of the Givers team was welcomed into the town by Kannaland Mayor, Magdalene Barry.

In an attempt to save water, some municipalities turn off the water supply between 9pm and 5am.

 Read more  

Loading Water for Laingsburg

Loading Water for Laingsburg

Gift of the Givers loading bottled water for the drought stricken town of Laingsburg at our warehouse in Tygerberg. MEC for Local Goverment, Minister Anton Bredell, present during loading.

 Read more  

Calvinia Gratitude

Calvinia Gratitude

Fodder Delivery continues.

"Today we're short of words to express our gratitude towards GIFT OF THE GIVERS. In an ongoing drought it is more likely to lose... Rather than gain hope. But thanks to all of you, we were once again blessed, with free transport for 3 trucks of lucern. Thank you for giving us hope, and the courage to continue what we were born to do... Farming! We want to thank you

 Read more  

R30 Million to Save Makhanda (Grahamstown)

R30 Million to Save Makhanda (Grahamstown)
Gift of the Givers commenced the intervention on 12 February not only to "save" a historic town, but to save the very soul of a society whose life blood revolves around the dynamic Rhodes University, the excellent schools, the Settler's Monument and it's host of outstanding educational and cultural activities, including the current Sci fi event and the Standard Bank Arts Festival. We are here to
 Read more  

4th Borehole Drilled in Grahamstown

4th Borehole Drilled in Grahamstown

Opening of the 4th borehole at Ntsika Secondary School in Joza, the largest township in Grahamstown.  This borehole pumps 90 000lts per hour, a second borehole will be drilled at the school where the community may collect from more conveniently.

 Read more  

Gift of the Givers Makhanda Intervention Plan.

Gift of the Givers Makhanda Intervention Plan.
"Please can I get some water, we have nothing to drink...we couldn't brush teeth...we didn't bath...the water is brown...there is no water in the tap...". These are the sentiments of hundreds of residents who stop our teams in every corner of Makhanda requesting water with such dignity. The smiling face deceptive of an underlying desperation visible deep in the eyes, yet the resilience,
 Read more  

09/02/2019 - Voel Vlei and Die Vlaktes in Mossel Bay.

09/02/2019 - Voel Vlei and Die Vlaktes in Mossel Bay.

Gift of the Givers delivered 2 truckloads of fodder to the distressed farmers of Voel Vlei and Die Vlaktes in Mossel Bay.

Farmers were overwhelmed by this delivery as they could no longer afford to feed their livestock. One farmer sold his vehicles in order to be able to purchase animal feed.

While visiting 2 farms with journalist Henk Kruger, our team discovered 15 dead sheep in the fields.

 Read more  

Save the sheep, save the farm, save the farmer, save the farmworker, save the economy. 2019 - drought is decimating South Africa.

Save the sheep, save the farm, save the farmer, save the farmworker, save the economy. 2019 - drought is decimating South Africa.
Henk Kruger, photo-journalist with African News Agency, spent four days with Gift of the Givers teams in various parts of the Western Cape this week, investigating the effects of the drought on man, animal and the environment, talking to municipalities, residents, farmers, visiting "empty" dams and "dried" rivers, emotionally traumatised as he witnesses sheep dying in front of his very eyes (64
 Read more  

Gift of the Givers arrived in Beaufort West on 5 February.

Gift of the Givers arrived in Beaufort West on 5 February.

Gift of the Givers arrived in Beaufort West on 5 February to deliver two trucks of water for the emergency room. Ali Sablay, Gift of the Givers Project Coordinator, was welcomed by the Deputy Mayor Truman Prince, Speaker, Michael Motsoane and Chief, Whip Kilani who accompanied our team to the store room, the reclamation plant and Gamka dam.

 Read more  

Fodder Delivery in Williston

Fodder Delivery in Williston

The drought in South Africa has had a devastating impact on man and animal; many South Africans are not aware of the extent of the catastrophe. Gift of the Givers has delivered R65 million of fodder in the period August 2017 - December 2018.

The new delivery commenced today with a generous contribution of R600 000 of high quality luserne from Rall Yzelle in Thabazimbi. This load is earmarked for

 Read more  

More Water for Beaufort West and Laingsburg.

More Water for Beaufort West and Laingsburg.

"Last emergency Bottle Water to Run out in Beaufort West

The Beaufort West Municipality will be running out of emergency bottle water within the next day.

This is a direct result of the low reservoir levels in town over the past months that caused that the municipality had to distribute the emergency water that was donated by Gift of the Givers for Day Zero and emergency cases.

The municipality

 Read more  

More Municipalities Request Emergency Water Assistance in the Western Cape.

More Municipalities Request Emergency Water Assistance in the Western Cape.

Following urgent delivery of bottled water to crisis hit Laingsburg and Beaufort West in the last two weeks, Gift of the Givers expected more municipalities to call us directly as many of the outlying Western Cape areas are water distressed for several weeks now. Gift of the Givers brought in 300 containers of bottled water by ship and road to Cape Town from January 2018 at our cost to assist the

 Read more  

Another Municipality in the Western Cape Runs out of Water

First it was Beaufort West that ran out of water two weeks ago. Gift of the Givers received frantic calls from the municipality, responded and is still responding.

Today Gift of the Givers received frantic calls again: "Laingsburg Municipality is currently running out of water. The main water source, Soutkloof fountain has dried up. Very low levels of water in the main reservoir and consumption

 Read more  

Hertzogville Water Delivery

Hertzogville Water Delivery

Hertzogville in the Free State ran out of water in December as the reservoir pumps broke. Gift of the Givers sent in water whilst the pumps were being repaired.

 Read more