Politicking muddies the water

2009-05-05 00:00

Political infighting is threatening to disrupt Greytown’s water supply.

On Monday, reports that a dead dog was floating in one of the area’s water tanks led residents to believe that Greytown’s water supply had been contaminated. However, when members of the uMvoti Water Consumer Committee (MWCC) drained the tank, there was no evidence of the animal.

“Somebody’s up to mischief. My feeling is that the IFP is behind this. Clearly they are finding it hard to accept that they have lost the province to the ANC and are using such tricks to voice their discontent,” said ANC councillor Ahmed Shaikh.

Before this incident took place, MWCC member Brian Walker says emergency water tanks were being placed in and around Greytown as the water plant was undergoing repairs.

“However, when an IFP-affiliated tanker driver went to deliver one of the water tanks in the township, he was threatened by the area’s ANC members. Soon after there were reports in the township that there was a dead dog in the water and we had to drain the tank,” said Walker.

Shaikh alleges that the IFP-led municipality began removing installed water tanks after losing the province to the ANC. He says the false report of the dead dog was being used as an excuse to justify the water tanks’ removal.

“I’m very concerned about the removal of water tanks in my ward because it goes against government policy. Regardless of what party people are affiliated to, they are still entitled to essential services. The IFP needs to accept defeat and stop getting up to mischief.

“The draining of that water tank has wasted 5 000 litres of water. Do you know how many households could have been serviced by that water?” said Shaikh.

ANC councillor Sibongiseni Nzama says the alleged removal of the tanks has created an unhealthy environment. He says although there are some areas around Greytown that have water, some are still experiencing a limited water supply. Residents are scared to draw water from some of the tanks that have been put in place as they fear the water has been contaminated. “In some homes people can’t cook and they go to work and school in the morning without bathing. This is affecting our community and something needs to be done about it,” he said.

uThukela Water engineer Trevor Rajnarain said that although there were water problems in Greytown last week, the issues seem to have been resolved and everything is back to normal. He says the reason why people are not using the water tanks is because they have their own supply at home.

uMvoti Mayor Petros Ngubane rubbished claims that he was behind the disruption of Greytown’s water services.

“I have no reason to deny people water — it’s one of their most essential needs. If I wanted votes why would I then cut off people’s water?

“This is just cheap politicking and people are being misled. According to my knowledge, the water pipes are being upgraded. Slowly but surely people’s water supply is being restored, but for some reason, people have shied away from water tanks,” said Ngubane.

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