“People of Ugu District have suffered for far too long”

2017-03-09 06:01

THE Democratic Alliance in the Ugu District Municipality has written to the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, requesting her to place the troubled Ugu District under provincial support and assistance as mandated under Section 154 of the Constitution.

“This is after another failure of the Ugu District in its mandate of delivering consistent access to water and sanitation services across the district.

“For the second consecutive festive season and year, the residents and tourists of the Ugu District Municipality experienced water cuts, water shortages or no water provision,” said Rishigen Viranna MPL, Ugu South constituency head.

In January 2016, salt water was pumped into the water reticulation system of the uMzimkhulu Pipeline System.

Between December 2016 and January 2017, vast areas of the entire district had limited to no water provision due to an illegal municipal strike, multiple burst pipes and the inability to balance bulk reservoirs.

According to the figures from Ugu South Coast Tourism, water disruptions in 2016/17 resulted in:

• direct, indirect and induced impact costing between R68 and R95 million;

• 160 jobs being affected or lost; and

• reputational damage, which is unquantifiable.

In addition, Over 2 000 beach goers had to be treated for gastroenteritis at local health facilities due to sewerage spills into the Ivungu River that came from the Masinenge RDP housing settlement.

The DA proposes that the Ugu District is placed under provincial support and that this intervention has the following objectives, among others.

• Additional funding ring-fenced for water and sanitation infrastructure maintenance and building.

• The implementation of a proper infrastructure maintenance plan, aiming to complete urgent maintenance by November 2017 to ensure a problem-free festive season.

• The development and implementation of a proper human resources management and recruitment plan for engineers, artisans and plumbers.

• A proper and implementable disaster management plan for prolonged periods of water disruptions.

• An urgent environmental clean-up of all lagoons.

The Democratic Alliance will also be applying to the national minister of Water and Sanitation to have Umgeni Water take over Ugu’s bulk water services.

“It is clear that Ugu District officials and political leadership are incapable. We need the MEC’s urgent intervention in this regard,” said Viranna.

Viranna added that the residents of the Ugu District Municipality are short-changed when it comes to the services they deserve and they must be provided with reliable water and sanitation services in order to have a good quality of life and to build economic opportunities.

“The DA will continue to fight for the residents of Ugu District who continue to be treated unfairly,” he said.

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