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Former eThekwini Deputy Mayor joins ActionSA litigation against municipality


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Former eThekwini Deputy Mayor joins ActionSA litigation against municipality

Image of ABC President Philani Mavundla with eThekwini Cllr Alan Beesley and ActionSA Provincial Chair Zwakele Mncwango outside Durban City Hall
Photo by Supplied
ABC President Philani Mavundla with eThekwini Cllr Alan Beesley and ActionSA Provincial Chair Zwakele Mncwango outside Durban City Hall

21st February 2023

By: Sane Dhlamini
Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor and Researcher


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Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) President and former eThekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla announced on Tuesday that he is joining ActionSA as a friend of the court as the party takes the eThekwini Municipality, run by the African National Congress (ANC), to court for failing to repair and replace sewerage infrastructure.

Recent news reports have highlighted the spillage of raw sewage into rivers and estuaries and, ultimately, the ocean.


Mavundla addressed the media outside the Durban City Hall, where he was joined by ActionSA Provincial Chairperson Zwakele Mncwango, and where he apologised to the residents of eThekwini for letting them down by voting with the ANC.

He noted that the Metro has 27 wastewater treatment works, of which 24 have no operating licenses, 17 have been run into the ground, and two are no longer being reported on as its mechanical and electrical equipment is no longer functional.


He said it took a year to convince eThekwini officials that at least R1-billion was required to work on fixing the aged infrastructure and went on to dismiss claims that the Municipality is making progress in repairing the infrastructure.

ActionSA says that of the budget that was allocated to the Metro, eThekwini spent less than 7% of it on aging and damaged infrastructure.

Mavundla questioned whether the R1.5-billion he claims the City borrowed for repairs was used.

He also shared that on the day the floods began in eThekwini, he was in a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss the infrastructure issues.

“All I was presenting was what was entailed in the first report of November 2021. I took an hour explaining to him the purpose of the water treatment works. He took note and I forwarded him the email. I did the same with the Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu and his deputy David Mahlobo and even Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. In South Africa there is nobody in leadership that is not aware of what is happening in eThekwini,” Mavundla said.

He claims to have evidence of 40 letters he wrote to eThekwini Municipality Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda with only one reply to present in court.

“In eThekwini you cannot build a single house because that house should be connected to the sewer network which is above capacity. Since the ANC government took over in eThekwini, I would like them to show me at least two waste water works that they have built in eThekwini. You will not find any. We have built quite a lot of houses so where is that sewerage going to? There is a whole lot of projects in the pipeline that couldn’t be built because you can’t connect anywhere,” he explained.  

Mncwango said Mavundla will be an asset to the litigation against the City, as he has a wealth of understanding of the current state of infrastructural decay in eThekwini, and what has led to this crisis that continues to persist some nine months later.

“We are pleased the ABC has heeded our call and that we can work collaboratively to address this ensuing catastrophe in the interests of the people of eThekwini and its surrounds who continue to have their business, homes and health compromised as a result of the ANC government’s inaction,” said Mncwango.




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