Communities in eThekwini say water issues not resolved

Deputy President Paul Mashatile said he had been assured that the water outages in eThekwini were being resolved.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile said he had been assured that the water outages in eThekwini were being resolved.

Published Apr 16, 2024


Communities in eThekwini say that they are still dealing with ongoing water outages.

This comes despite Deputy President Paul Mashatile saying that he was satisfied with information that he had received from eThekwini Municipality that 90% of the city was receiving water and only the remaining 10% was experiencing water supply issues.

Vasie Govender, chairperson of community group Voice of Phoenix, north of Durban, said they were facing continuous water outages.

“We really don’t believe the water outage issues have been resolved. We, along with neighbouring communities, continue to face water outages for long periods of time. Just this weekend there was no water and we took it upon ourselves to supply bottled water to our community.”

Govender said they were promised that the situation would be resolved in February.

“To date there is no solution in sight, we were told that pumps and valves were being repaired and replaced. Even with all this there is still no water. We are frustrated as a community as we are being denied our basic rights.”

Phoenix Civic and Ratepayers Association deputy chairperson Alice Govender said the water woes of the community had not been addressed.

“The eThekwini Municipality has failed to use its annual budgets appropriately, as a result we have failed infrastructure, unable to deliver services.

“The municipality should no longer use the 2022 floods and an inadequate budget as an excuse. We want services that we pay for.”

Verulam Water Crisis Committee spokesperson Roshan Lil-Ruthan said that they had expressed their concern over the exclusion of the community from the recent consultations held by Mashatile.

“It is certainly not true that 90% of eThekwini are receiving water. We would like to express our disappointment and dismay at the deputy president's failure to consult with us and the community. It is disheartening especially considering the severity of the water crisis in Verulam.”

Lil-Ruthan added that the Verulam community has been enduring a humanitarian catastrophe.

“We are on day 320 without water. We call on the deputy president to rectify this oversight and engage with us and the wider community as a matter of urgency.

“We have demanded that the eThekwini Municipality be stripped of their responsibilities towards providing water and sanitation services to the people of eThekwini.”

IFP exco member Mdu Nkosi said many communities don’t have water.

“In areas north of Durban and even Umbumbululu in the south they haven't had water for weeks or months. It's a failure of the municipality.

“They have adequate budgets yet still fail to address water challenges year after year. The municipality must answer for not using the funds to address the water challenges.”

DA councillor Thabani Mthethwa said the water issues were far from being resolved.

“Whether it is the northern parts or south and even the western parts of the city, there are areas as we speak that have not had water for weeks.

“The problem is lack of infrastructure maintenance and also the demand exceeds supply.”

Mashatile, who conducted a visit to eThekwini at the weekend, had said mayor Mxolisi Kaunda assured him that 90% of people in eThekwini were receiving water.

“Only 10 percent of communities need infrastructure repaired for water supply. I'm satisfied with the turnaround and report received in addressing water challenges since the 2022 floods.”

The Mercury