Western Cape premier Helen Zille has criticised the national government for not making funding available for water augmentation efforts in the drought-ravaged city of Cape Town. "Although bulk water supply is its mandate, the national Department of Water and Sanitation has not made funding available for augmentation in this crisis, because the National Treasury has literally turned off its funding tap following a disastrous audit outcome," Zille said during her state of the province address in the provincial legislature on Thursday. She said that, as a result, the City of Cape Town had stepped into the breach with aquifer extraction, water reuse and desalination projects amounting to close to R6bn over the five-year medium term revenue expenditure framework. "No local government should have to shoulder the burden of capital and operational costs for what is a national function," the premier said. Cape Town is in the middle of its worst drought in a century and could become the first...

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