File picture: Ross Jansen
Water tank truck tenders are suspected to be behind the KwaZulu-Natal district municipalities’ “deliberate” failure to provide clean tap water to needy communities.

This was a view of provincial finance portfolio committee chairperson Sipho Nkosi.

Nkosi was among MPLs led by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) portfolio committee chairperson Richardo Mthembu on a visit to drought-stricken Umkhanyakude District Municipality late this week following a spate of violent protests by community members who were fed up with being supplied with filthy water through trucks.

Nkosi told Independent Media that water truck tenders were suspected to be behind the water challenges.

“The government’s aim is to remove these trucks because they are causing municipalities not to reticulate water.

“But you cannot assume, you must investigate because there is that possibility,” said Nkosi.

He also said that the provincial finance department had set aside more than R100 million to Cogta to use in scientific and forensic investigations into why district municipalities were failing to provide tap water.

Former premier Willies Mchunu had on several occasions expressed concern about water truck tenders’ connection to unwillingness to provide water.

Nkosi could not rule out the possibility of approaching public protector to investigate.

Mthembu said the provincial government had identified Umkhanyakude, Ilembe, Harry Gwala and Uthukela as districts where new dams needed to be built. 

Political Bureau