Durban — The DA caucus leader in eThekwini, Thabani Mthethwa, has accused mayor Mxolisi Kaunda of being responsible for last year’s tourism disaster and this year’s closure of beaches due to water contamination caused by sewage leaks.
Mthethwa said the mayor, as the chairperson of the finance committee, must account for the slow pace of expenditure of the emergency disaster grants that would have made sure that by now, the City’s infrastructure repairs were attended to.
Kaunda, in his effort to ensure that all Durban beaches were operational before the festive season, conducted an oversight visit to Warner Beach and Kingsway to assess the progress on the repairs to sewer pump stations in the area.
Kaunda said he was satisfied with the progress made in replacing the old pumps that were extensively damaged during the floods last year which contributed to the contamination of most beaches in the south of Durban, such as Warner Beach and Winkelspruit.
The mayor also assessed progress on the upgrade of two water reservoirs in Adams Mission, reservoir 5 and 6, which are 80% and 75% completed.
Kaunda said the R60 million projects were due for completion in November and would improve water supply in Adams Mission, Mbumbulu, KwaMakhutha, Nsimbini and Folweni.
Kaunda was also pleased with the completion of the construction of Inteke Bridge.
He said the municipality was finalising plans to commence the upgrade of a 4km road from gravel to tar, which would link Nteke, Pinetown, Ngonyameni and seven schools in the area.
The City continues to caution residents and businesses against the insertion of alien objects into the sewage system, which was found to be one of the reasons for pump malfunctions.
Kaunda said technicians often found things like building rubble, cloths, disposable nappies and even towels in the sewerage system.
Kaunda said most of the bathing beaches in the city were open and safe for swimming.
ActionSA PR councillor Alan Beesley said the recent site inspections undertaken by ActionSA at several wastewater treatment plants and pump stations revealed the shocking state of eThekwini sewerage infrastructure.
Beesley said these site inspections were undertaken as part of an ActionSA court case against the municipality, and the various government departments.
“One such example is the Northern WasteWater Treatment Plant. This plant used to receive 35 million litres of raw sewage daily to treat, however, it is currently only receiving 15 million. The difference of 20 million litres is the amount of raw sewage that is daily being discharged into the environment. This raw sewage ultimately ends up in the uMngeni River and the sea, thus affecting the quality of beach water,” Beesley said.
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