District mayor gets tough

2017-09-13 06:02

ON taking office just two months ago the Umzinyathi District Mayor, Petros Ngubane, announced that corruption, fraud and dodgy contracts would not be tolerated and that the R303 million, which Umzinyathi could not account for, would be thoroughly investigated through a forensic audit which began last month.

Keeping to this mission, the mayor announced on Monday that AB Project’s services had been terminated in terms of a recommendation from the Auditor General that all irregular appointments be terminated.

AB Project’s monthly contract had actually ended in June and also the firm had been an irregular Section 32 appointment in terms of the Municipal Finance Act. AB Projects was the operational and maintenance water service provider for the district. A caretaker company has been appointed for the time being to handle operations and maintenance relating to Umzinyathi as the water service provider for Umvoti.

In January 2015 the Greytown Gazette began its continuous reporting on the town’s water crisis, stating that “unless action is taken rapidly Greytonians could be facing a disastrous water shortage”.

Since that statement, two years and nine months ago, as the majority residents of Umvoti and surrounding districts are aware, the water supply has got worse and worse compounded by the irregular appointments of contractors referred to by the district mayor.

Water schemes, which were installed were “destroyed” - for instance, most of the Matimatolo was on a water supply scheme being run and monitored by the Umvoti Water committee, but then “political” pressure was applied to insure that Umzinyathi ran the scheme - and it took but several weeks for this lifesaving intervention to be almost destroyed.

Falling into the same category of ongoing catastrophe, Greytown Gazette readers have, for the past years, been kept updated on the farcical Craigieburn pipeline which has gone ridiculously over budget and over time thanks to the incompetent contractors appointed by Umzinyathi.

There is now a lot of light at the end of the pipeline with the current contractors doing the jobs they have been appointed to do. According to older timers in
Umvoti, this is the worst drought ever - even the cane is starting to die.

The planting season for maize starts next month and this crop can be planted up until the end of October. So here’s hoping those traditional spring rains will make a much-awaited appearance, that Umzinyathi water services to all are operative and that there actually is water flowing through the Craigieburn pipeline.

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