Hlomuka unpacks plans to deal with Ugu water problems
DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Sipho Hlomuka, has assured the frustrated residents of Ugu District that a permanent plan to curb water outages is on the cards.
Hlomuka was speaking yesterday during his second visit to the district after disgruntled communities went on the rampage in violent protests against water supply disruptions.
The protests, which started last week, saw the destruction of a municipal building and the torching of state vehicles and four municipal trucks. Shops were also looted, allegedly by unruly protesters.
Yesterday, Hlomuka led a delegation of municipal and provincial government officials to address Ugu residents on the steps that were being taken to resolve service-delivery challenges in the district. He was accompanied by Ugu District mayor Sizwe Ngcobo and the mayor of Ray Nkonyeni local municipality, Nomusa Mqwebu.
The delegation visited KwaMadlala,
Magog and Izingolweni, under the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality. Hlomuka said the national Department of Water and Sanitation had commissioned the construction of Cwabeni Dam, which would further alleviate the pressure in the long term. The project was due for completion in 2023, he said.
At present, the district was implementing a number of short- and longterm interventions, he said. Part of the short-term measures was connecting the district to the Eastern Cape’s power supply. The supply would allow for more water to be extracted from the
Umtamvuna River for purification and distribution to Izingolweni, KwaXolo and Southbroom.
He said the project was fully funded by the department to the tune of R14 million. He also revealed that the upgrade of the KwaXolo bulk water supply scheme would increase supply to the KwaXolo and Izingolweni network.
“Other measures include the exploration of groundwater systems to augment the inadequate bulk capacity of the Bhobhoyi northern system, and supply of water on a rotational basis with the prior communication of schedules to ensure that communities are kept abreast consistently,” he said.
In the meantime, he said, the delivery of water from tankers was being enhanced to maximise efficiency. “In some areas, static tanks are being added at strategic points to ensure regular water provision.”
Hlomuka added that the provincial government would be appointing a contractor who would upgrade roads, and the construction of new roads was expected to start in the next three months.