Thousands without water and electricity

2016-02-03 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Residents in Metro's southern wards are entering their third day without electricity and water.

PHOTO: supplied Residents in Metro's southern wards are entering their third day without electricity and water.

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THE eThekwini Ward 97 Councillor André Beetge confirmed that the residents in Metro's southern wards (67, 93, 94, 95, 96 and 98 that stretch the areas of Ezimbokodweni, KwaMakhutha, Bhekulwandle, Kingsburgh West and Adams Mission) are entering their third day without electricity and water.

“The situation has become life-threatening as with temperatures in the 30 degrees, the limited number of [very elusive] water tankers deployed to assist more than 100 000 effected residents, appear far from adequate, yet municipal call centres confirm that the matter is beyond their control,” Beetge stated.

Rumour has it that a main electricity supply cable was stolen, in turn affecting the municipality's ability to supply water to a rather large exclusive township and rural area.

“Discussions with, respectively, head of electricity Sandile Maphumulo and water and sanitation’s Ednick Msweli on the evening of Sunday 31 January, confirmed that while aware of the situation, they remain unable to satisfy with a resolve,” said Beetge.

He said it would appear the situation is a direct result of tenderpreneurs who hope to secure lucrative contracts from the municipality.
“While remaining unsatisfied, the tenderpreneuars are threatening officials in the execution of their tasks and then to the detriment of all - not least the poorest of the poor in the affected areas who do not have the means to travel to collect the so desperately needed water from neighbouring [unaffected] areas,” he said.

Reportedly the situation has reached breaking point with officials refusing to leave depots for fear of their lives as while they would be able to effect repairs under protection of SAPS, Metro Police or private law enforcement, many received threats in their private capacity should they undertake repairs until those in demand are allocated the desired contracts.

“While efforts to contact and obtain guidance from Metro Police operational deputy head Steve Middleton proved unsuccessful, SAPS Umlazi Cluster Commander Major General Chelisa was able to confirm earlier communication with electricity head Sandile Maphumulo - yet only to the point of inquiries with the Umlazi detective commander in so far as it concerned reported cases of intimidation,” Beetge said.

“As the city enters the seventh month of the 2015/16 budget, overgrown verges, faulty street lights, unattended water leaks, uncollected litter, running sewage, uncollected medical waste at clinics, incomplete houses, unallocated EPWP jobs [endless list continues] bears testimony to unallocated contracts without which the city is unable to function to expectation.”

Beetge added that the Durban South constituency under leadership of Dianne Kohler Barnard, MP and himself (chairperson) together with staff, activist and volunteers embarked on a water distribution initiative into the affected areas for the whole of Monday 1 February in an effort to bring some relief to families who certainly deserve no further suffering than what they already have to endure under a dysfunctional government.

Water donations can be delivered to councillors’ chambers, 423 Andrew Zondo (Kingsway) Amanzimtoti.

For more information, contact Beetge on 082 718 8137 or email andreb - Supplied.

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