KwaDukuza residents thirsty for action after being left with dry taps for days
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Durban - Failing water supply and wasted litres have left KwaDukuza residents thirsty for action after being left with dry taps for days.
In an attempt to get processes flowing, ratepayers wrote to Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu, the country’s auditor-general and the municipal manager for the iLembe District Municipality.
The residents are from Warrenton, Oceanview, Indian village and the KwaDukuza Industrial Area.
Residents complained that they were left without water for five consecutive days, prompting the drafting and sending of the letter.
They said the issue required urgent action as the country is in the midst of a global pandemic and clean, potable and running water was essential to combat Covid-19.
In the letter penned by community activist Cyril Pandaram and sent on Thursday on behalf of residents, it was alleged there was a lack of professionalism, transparency and accountability from the district municipality which is tasked with supplying water.
In the letter, Pandaram further alleged: “There is a lack of skills when effecting repairs, the same leak gets repaired more than 3 times in the same month. Millions of litres of purified water are lost due to slow turn around repair times. There is also a lack of qualified staff in top management.”
Pandaram said the way forward was for Sisulu’s immediate involvement.
“Heads must roll. A full municipal audit must be conducted, every department must be scrutinized.”
The district municipality confirmed receipt of the letter from the residents as did the offices of the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) and Sisulu.
Acting senior manager of technical services at iLembe Cingisa Mbola said power outages and load shedding had compromised two pumping stations that supplied the area with water resulting in decreased reservoir levels that caused the water outages.
“We are currently implementing a reticulation project to the value of R22 321 070 earmarked to replace ageing infrastructure, address interruptions, minimize water losses and to increase customer satisfaction in Warrenton, Oceanview, Indian village and the Industrial Area,” she said.
The project began in May and was expected to be completed in June 2021.
Yonelo Diko, Sisulu’s ministerial spokesperson, said a point of concern was that municipalities had become more reactive than proactive.
“The minister has also pointed out that the issues surrounding skills and ageing infrastructure were points of concern. But the municipality has made it clear that they have a project in place to address the issue and we will be keeping a close watch of them,” he said.
Diko said should the issues persist, then the department would increase involvement and “crack the whip”.
"For now we need them to complete their project as they have indicated that this should assist with the water issues."
Africa Boso, AGSA spokesperson, said: “We confirmed receipt of the correspondence to the sender. After we have assessed the request in line with our standard operating procedures, we will then respond directly to the writer advising them on how we will proceed with their request.”