Durban — The DA in KwaZulu-Natal believes that the water crisis in northern Durban is killing tourism.
That was according to DA KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs spokesperson Heinz de Boer, who said: “The week-long water crisis affecting more than 100 000 residents north of Durban has had a disastrous impact on the prime tourism region.”
He said that north Durban, known for some of KZN’s premier hotels and hundreds of guest houses, has borne the brunt of further economic losses.
“Admissions by eThekwini Municipality that sabotage and tampering may be behind large parts of uMhlanga, Durban North, Redhill and Effingham not receiving water are adequate proof of a dysfunctional city,” De Boer said. “KZN’s tourism sector simply cannot afford to carry the impact of these catastrophic water interruptions - with no end in sight to the crisis.”
De Boer said that the ANC-run provincial government and its economic development cluster remain silent on the crisis and its potential impact on business and tourism.
“Moreover, the provincial government appears unconcerned about schools being closed for days and the potential health impacts on communities that pay some of the highest property rates in eThekwini.”
De Boer said that the ANC’s back-to-basics programme has failed. Its massive bungling of the sewage crisis, inability to deal with ongoing beach closures - and now a water crisis over the Heritage Day long weekend - smack of a disinterested political hierarchy.
“The DA has firmly spelt out its demands to eThekwini officials in this crisis. Water must be restored to protect our already vulnerable communities and the tourism sector,” De Boer said. “An agile response is now needed from the provincial government to compel the eThekwini Municipality to deliver the most basic of services.”
He added that the power to protect our right to water and grow our economy begins at the ballot box in 2024.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the eThekwini Municipality chairpersons of various committees conducted site visits to affected water reservoirs in uMhlanga and Durban North.
The purpose of the visits was to monitor the work being carried out by municipal officials on the Northern Aqueduct in order to achieve adequate inflows to several reservoirs that serve the affected areas.
The municipality said that municipal technical teams are working round the clock to commission the new Northern Aqueduct, and that the changeover from Reservoir 3 to Reservoir 2 at uMngeni-uThukela Water's Durban Heights Waterworks has been implemented in an effort to improve water supply.
More in the Daily News on Tuesday.
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