Water shedding enforced in two areas, says City of eThekwini

Water supply to uMlazi and Ntuzuma being affected and therefore it was receiving intermittent supply.

Water supply to uMlazi and Ntuzuma being affected and therefore it was receiving intermittent supply.

Published Mar 18, 2024


The extent of the water problems in eThekwini Municipality have been laid bare in the City’s annual report, which revealed that the metro has resorted to water shedding in some areas due to a shortage of supply.

The annual report, published recently, looks into the performance of the municipality in the 2022/23 financial year, its challenges and successes.

It said “water shedding” was infringing on residents’ constitutional rights.

The annual report, listing the challenges faced by the water unit, said a steady supply of water was one of the problems it had encountered.

This has led to water supply to uMlazi and Ntuzuma being affected and therefore it was receiving intermittent supply.

The report said: “Available bulk water available from uMngeni (uThukela) Water and internal production is all utilised and areas are ‘watershed’ and on intermittent supply. This is impacting constitutional rights and will constrain development.”

It said as part of the solutions package, the City was looking at measures including reducing non-revenue water (NRW), implementing water re-use and new schemes such as the Lower uMkhomazi, Tugela Ph2 and Upper uMkhomazi projects.

The head of water and sanitation, Ednick Msweli, reiterated the call for residents to use water sparingly.

Water shedding had been going on for some time to ensure that residents in the affected areas had some water, he said.

“We have to do that. If we do not, we will have no water. We cut the water at night to have water during the day.

This is done to ensure that residents continue to receive water.”

Msweli he said this was happening in uMlazi and Ntuzuma, adding that the situation in Ntuzuma would be resolved permanently once the new uMkhomazi Dam was completed and online.

He said they believed the water supply in uMlazi would stabilise soon as the City was building up capacity.

The annual report painted a bleak picture of the state of water and sanitation services. “Water and sanitation services in eThekwini are in difficulty.

However, with the right level of leadership effort, urgency and focus, the turnaround is possible.”

The report said large investments were required to improve the functioning and reliability of water and sanitation services, and to meet growing demand.

“The financial performance of the water and sanitation service has deteriorated significantly over the past eight years, and the water and sanitation business (is) now in a constrained financial position. It will not be possible to address service challenges without turning around the financial performance of the business and sustainably increasing the level of investment.”

DA councillor Hlengiwe Shozi said she was never officially informed about water shedding in the Ntuzuma area.

“The water shedding is of a great concern in Ntuzuma.

“As we speak I have requests for water tankers for the community of Ntuzuma,” she said.

ActionSA councillor Alan Beesley said the concern about the rationing of water in uMlazi and Ntuzuma was the lack of transparency and honesty by those in control.

“Rather than blaming external factors for the ongoing water crisis, mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and those in leadership must be truthful with what is going on within the City.”

Meanwhile, uMngeni-uThukela Water said it was making great strides in repairing the wastewater infrastructure that was damaged by the storms.

It said it had made headway in the rehabilitation of 10 wastewater treatment works which were destroyed by the floods in eThekwini in April 2022.

These wastewater treatment works account for about 90% of all the wastewater treated by the eThekwini Metro.

It had rehabilitated and recommissioned the uMhlanga wastewater works and rehabilitated the Northern Works to improve the effluent quality to the neighbouring Blue Lagoon.

“Additionally, uMngeni-uThukela Water has also been tasked by eThekwini to lead the licensing of all unlicensed wastewater works, including those that were not a part of the existing operation and maintenance contract,” it said.

The Mercury