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uThukela District Municipality residents frustrated with water challenges

DA leader in KZN Francois Rodgers at the Ezakheni waterworks. Picture: Supplied

DA leader in KZN Francois Rodgers at the Ezakheni waterworks. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 16, 2023


Durban — Residents of uThukela District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal said they were frustrated with the water challenges in their area.

The leader of the DA in KZN, Francois Rodgers, took the media on a tour of the Ezakheni waterworks on Tuesday.

The uThukela district is managed by the IFP.

Rodgers gave the uThukela district leadership 72 hours to submit a report on the failures and alleged looting of funds at the Ezakheni water pump station.

Rodgers said the DA had discovered that the six industrial pumps that were locally manufactured by a South African manufacturer called APE were removed in April and were to be written off by a third party. Rodgers added that APE monitored these pumps remotely via telemetry and confirmed that the pumps incurred no damage during the April 2022 floods.

“APE has also not been afforded the opportunity to inspect these pumps as provided for in the warranted agreement,” Rodgers said.

KwaZulu-Natal DA leader Francois Rodgers and uThukela district councillor Thys Janse van Rensburg at the Ezakheni waterworks in Ladysmith. Picture: Supplied

Rodgers said more than 70 000 residents alongside businesses in Ladysmith did not have water almost daily.

“The situation has been allowed to deteriorate to such a degree that the financial viability of the whole municipality is in jeopardy. Currently, only 30% of rates are being paid as residents turn their backs on the district due to seeing the bad service delivery. If the IFP fails to table the report, the DA will have to reconsider its support of the IFP in the district,” Rodgers said.

The IFP did not respond to questions posed to them by publication.

Suran Magan from Hillside said whenever he makes enquiries at the call centre about not having water, he is told the water pump stations are broken or not working. He said he was always prepared with water bottles as not having water was now the norm.

“I have about 70 water bottles in my house filled with water because we are always without,” he said.

Iqbal Khan from Leonardsville said not a day goes by without the water supply being cut in the area. He said this was affecting the education of children.

“Children cannot go to school every day because there is constantly no water. They have to carry water bottles,” said Khan.

A police officer who did not want to be named said what they were going through at the eZakheni police station was a “disgrace” because they could not use the toilets and some had to relieve themselves outside the station.

He said it was more difficult for female police officers.

“We have to move the prisoners to the Ladysmith police station because it does not constantly have the water challenges that we have. Hygiene at the station was a major issue because of the lack of water,” he said.

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