KZN MEC for EDEA Siboniso Duma
Today, members of the KZN Legislature debated the South African Human Rights Commission Report on Water Crisis in KZN municipalities.
Despite affirming the ANC led provincial government’s commitment towards working with all chapter nine institutions to strengthen service delivery, Siboniso Duma, the Leader of Government Business singled out the leaders of Democratic Alliance for criticism.
He said the vestiges of apartheid and its effects was left to the ANC government to address, something acknowledged by the commission.
“We welcome the report unreservedly as it is the product of the ANC led government. SAHRC was created to protect the rights of all citizens irrespective of their colour and status.Unlike the apartheid government that protected a selected few,” he explained.
“The commission, in the report, admitted that the legacies of apartheid regime are still visible 30 years after we attained democracy. It is true that millions of people were denied access to water and sanitation services by the minority government.”
“It is also true that millions of people have been connected to such services by the ANC government. It is true that as a result of this massive connection of our people the water infrastructure is buckling under pressure. This old and dilapidated infrastructure has also been damaged by devastating floods.”
He further stated that the beneficiaries of apartheid spatial planning will always deny all the facts he highlighted.
"The beneficiaries of apartheid will do everything in their power to belittle our efforts.”
He stated: “They will turn a blind to the fact that the ANC government through Human Settlements Department has constructed millions of houses in the townships and rural areas. It is true that the ANC government has ensured previously neglected communities in rural or urban areas have new housing projects with running water. And that there is running water in new constructed social amenities, such as community halls, sports grounds, schools and clinics.”
He revealed that they were receiving updates from Ugu, eThekwini municipalities and other municipalities regarding the repair of water infrastructure.
"In particular, we welcome efforts aimed at ensuring continued water provision following unplanned interruption of water supply.
"We wish to single out tourists’ destination areas such as Umhlanga, Durban North, Ramsgate, Margate and Port Edward on the South Coast – Richards Bay and surrounding areas in King Cetshwayo and other parts of the province."
He emphasized his understanding that tourism occurred at local level.
"Therefore the provision of adequate infrastructure will help enhance the experience of tourism products offered in different corners of our province to our visitors."
He said he was encouraged by the resilience and determination showed by stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry.
"We offer to be on their side during this period and beyond. We believe that our partnership will assist in protecting this sector and in ensuring its continued contribution towards job creation and economic growth."
He said the provincial government will continue to work with the Department of Water and Sanitation, uMngeni-uThukela Water Board, Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, municipalities, and captains of industry to turn around the situation.
"We wish to assure stakeholders that in our discussion with the Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu, we are convinced that a long lasting solution to the water crisis is in sight. Our confidence is based current rollout of bulk water infrastructure projects throughout the corners of KZN through the RBIG to the value of R7.8 billion."
Below are projects already being rolled out by Umngeni-Uthukela Water Board:
1. Nearly R2.3 billion has allocated for and Lower uMkhomazi Bulk Water Supply Project in eThekwini - Greater Mpofana Bulk Water Supply Project in uMgungundlovu District - Maphumulo Bulk Water Supply Project in iLembe District - UMshwathi Bulk Water Supply Project servicing both uMgungundlovu and iLembe Districts;
2.About R150 million has been allocated to Ugu District Municipality from the WSIG in order to ensure sustained water supply;
3.An estimated R5 billion has been allocated for the Bulk Regional Water Scheme for Alfred Duma Local Municipality in uThukela District Municipality;
4.About R235m has been allocated for phases 5 and 6 of the The Mandlakazi Bulk Water Supply Project in Zululand District Municipality;
5.Greater Mthonjaneni Bulk Water Supply Project and Middledrift Bulk Water Supply Project - both in the King Cetshwayo District Municipality will ensure that over 40 000 households have access to water;
6. The uMkhanyakude District’s multi-billion water projects which include the Greater Ingwavuma Bulk Water Supply Scheme in Jozini Local Municipality will supply Jozini, Big Five Hlabisa and Mtubatuba municipalities;
7.Mtikini Water Supply Scheme in Umhlabuyalingana Local Municipality will supply safe drinking water to communities of Skhemelele, Mtikini and eScabazini.
Issued by KZN MEC for EDTA Siboniso Duma