DA welcomes Water Minister’s intervention in eThekwini

EThekwini DA caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa urged the City to immediately appoint water service providers as per the Water Minister’s call. Photo: Supplied

EThekwini DA caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa urged the City to immediately appoint water service providers as per the Water Minister’s call. Photo: Supplied

Published Feb 6, 2024


Durban — The DA in eThekwini has urged the municipality to heed Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu’s directive and appoint uMngeni-uThukela Water as a service provider.

During his visit to Verulam at the weekend, Mchunu called on eThekwini and 63 other municipalities that are struggling with water challenges to appoint service providers.

Mchunu said it was in the best interest of the municipalities to appoint water service providers by themselves.

Reacting to Mchunu’s call, DA caucus leader in eThekwini, Thabani Mthethwa, said the City must immediately heed the minister’s call and enlist the services of uMngeni-uThukela Water since the City’s Water and Sanitation Unit under Ednick Msweli had proven that it had no capacity to supply water to the residents of eThekwini.

“It’s a victory for the DA and the people of eThekwini. Everyone knows that the DA has been consistently pushing for this and we are glad that the minister has supported our call,” said Mthethwa.

Residents of Verulam, Tongaat and Phoenix have not been getting water for more than 90 days.

This resulted in the residents taking to the streets to vent their anger.

Before last week’s full council meeting, the DA picketed outside the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre calling for the appointment of a service provider to supply water in eThekwini.

The DA met uMngeni-uThukela Water last week and said the body agreed to take over as water supplier for eThekwini if asked to do so through the relevant legislative framework.

The DA also said that in their meeting with the water body, it had emerged that eThekwini was being oversupplied with water, so it was a lie that the water challenges were caused by a shortage of water from uMngeni-uThukela Water.

The party said the problem was with eThekwini, which was failing to curb water losses costing the City R144 million. The problem was with the reticulation which was supposed to be done by the City not the water authority, it said.

The DA also revealed that uMngeni-uThukela Water had expressed concern that eThekwini was a growing risk because it was the entity’s single largest customer; therefore, if the City collapsed, so would uMngeni-uThukela, threatening water security to KwaZulu-Natal.

uMngeni-uThukela Water has already taken over the maintenance of water works stations in the city and working jointly with the municipality to rebuild the water infrastructure damaged by the floods.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Luthando Ngubane denied that the minister made a call to the municipality to appoint a service provider.

On Friday the DA marched to the SA Human Rights Commission demanding the commission take punitive steps against the City for its failure to provide water. It also threatened to go to court to have the City’s water licence cancelled.

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