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Port Shepstone - The Democratic Alliance has welcomed the decision by the Ugu District Municipality’s water and sanitation portfolio committee and executive committee to declare Umuziwabantu Local Municipality a local disaster area following a DA request, the party said on Sunday.

"Umuziwabantu is fast approaching a water crisis due to severe drought conditions, and DA intervention was critical in ensuring that Ugu municipality took action without delay," DA KwaZulu-Natal MPL Rishigen Viranna said.

During a recent oversight inspection, the DA found that Harding Dam was at 15 percent capacity and the Weza River was at an all-time low. Despite this clear evidence of an impending crisis, no notable action had been taken to make communities aware of the crisis and possible implementation of water restrictions.

During the intervening period, the water situation in Harding Dam had significantly worsened, rendering this vital water source functionally empty, Viranna said.

A taxing regime of water restrictions was becoming increasingly likely with each passing day for residents in both the municipality’s rural and urban hinterlands.

"This dire situation compelled the DA to push for a notice of motion to declare Umuziwabantu Local Municipality as a disaster area. Such a declaration will enable the municipality to institute disaster management procedures set out in the Disaster Management Act and roll-out a water restriction schedule to save water.

"As the DA works with interested parties to find lasting solutions to the Ugu water crisis, we still stand by the view that the only solution to crippling governance crisis in the municipality will come through placing it under a capable section 139 administrator," Viranna said.

African News Agency/ANA