Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is planning to slap Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane with a bill for R3.5-milllion for water infrastructure maintenance that she believes the national department should have done.
The national government is responsible for the maintenance of water infrastructures like canals, weirs and dams, but it has fallen behind because it is cash-strapped, according to a statement from Zille's office.
The statement came after an article she wrote for Daily Maverick on the water crisis.
Zille plans to divert some of the R95-million disaster relief money Cabinet allocated to the province, to pay for essential maintenance of the canals leading to Voelvlei Dam.
The Voelvlei Dam, near Gouda in the Western Cape, is not in the path of a river - so during winter, water is diverted through a network of canals and a weir to the dam to fill it.
Zille's spokesperson Michael Mpofu said the procurement phase for the maintenance job was already under way in the province. Once approved, all the sediment upstream from the Leeu River weir system would be removed.
It would take at least three weeks, weather permitting.
Mpofu said ''haphazard'' work was done in 2016 by the national department, but this just led to the loss of 7.5-million cubic litres of water.
According to Monday's report by the province's department of local government, environmental affairs and development planning, the province's dams only increased slightly last week to 27.3% full.
''We did not get the rain we were expecting in June,'' said Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development MEC Anton Bredell.