Zondi gets flak from Phayiphini

2010-05-04 00:00

PHAYIPHINI residents in KwaMpumuza have been hit hard by breakdowns in service delivery, and community members are laying the blame for their problems on ward councillor and Msunduzi Exco member Dolo Zondi.

The Inkatha Freedom Party councillor counters that the problems are the responsibility of service providers such as the provincial Transport Department and Umgeni Water.

The area has poor road infrastructure, which makes access difficult when it rains, and suffers from frequent interruptions to its power and water supply.

A resident who asked not to be named said Zondi has done nothing to bring services to the people.

The councillor is said to have promised to bring in a grader to broaden and level the dirt roads in the area, but that never happened.

The resident added that the only road that is maintained is the one leading to the area of the traditional chiefs.

“We have given up on Zondi as he does not seem to be able to solve our problems,” he said.

“On the water issue, he once said Umgeni Water is to blame for the continuous disruption of supply to the area. Just last weekend, we had to do without water, and we were not informed to prepare ourselves for water cuts.

“The same applies to electricity. There is no notification before power cuts and nobody cares to explain.”

The resident said that in 2008 he used his own money to hire a grader to fix the dirt road leading to his homestead.

Zondi denied that he has failed to consult the community, adding that he had told the residents that roads are built by the Transport Department, not by the municipality.

“People do not understand why preference is given to upgrading the road leading to the area of the amakhosi instead of that used by the general public.

“This is a concern that needs to be addressed by the Transport Department.

“With regard to water, Umgeni Water is to blame as it always gives excuses about technical problems being the cause of water cuts.

“Electricity is a concern for the whole of Pietermaritzburg,” Zondi said.

Umgeni Water corporate stakeholder manager Shami Harichunder confirmed that the potable water supply to parts of Phayiphini has been interrupted — usually when there are leaks in the pipelines.

He said some pipelines were damaged during the building of the road to the area of the amakhosi in 2008 and 2009.

“We have responded and continue to respond promptly whenever leaks are detected. These leaks are fixed in 24 to 48 hours,” said Harichunder.

“We are in discussions with Msunduzi Municipality pertaining to a sustainable supply of water to the affected area.”

The transport general manager, operations, in the Pietermaritzburg region, Bongiwe Ndlovu, said the road issue is complicated.

She confirmed that the department shares the responsibility of road construction with the municipality, depending on the location of the road, saying, “We must identify the road in question. We don’t do roads leading into residential areas, so we shall have to check the location of this particular road.”


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