THE Vulindlela area is not only marred by the scramble of land but is inflicted with illegal water connections. During a press briefing on water shortages, Msunduzi Municipality water department’s Brenden Sivparsad said that they are aware of the illegal water connections and mechanisms will be put in place to address this. Sivparsad said this issue is at a sensitive stage as there are traditional authorities involved. “Besides the illegal connections, people have settled in the flood plain and we will never provide connections to houses on a flood plain. It is at a very sensitive stage. Vulindlela is rural and there are tribal authorities that we need to negotiate with and speak with. We need to be very sensitive about those things too. The [Msunduzi] municipality in conjunction with other departments is busy dealing with the matter,” said Sivparsad. He said that they are aware of the illegal water connections but can advise people to use water responsibly. “We are aware of a certain amount of illegal connections. Even if a person has an illegal connection they need to use water responsibly. We are not promoting it [illegal water connection] but if someone has an illegal connection they should try and use it responsibly. We are in a process of trying to regulate it and to put up formal connections. We are going to put mechanisms to stop it. We are not supporting it,” he said. A couple of years ago the Vulindlela area became the centre for housing developments which occur ar a rapid pace. During a seating of the Executive Committee (Exco) it came to light that the land grabbing in Vulindlela has become a ‘free-for-all’ and this has to be controlled because the crisis is escalating at an alarming rate. It was said that both local and foreign residents have their claws sunk deep into the Vulindlela land. This comes at a critical stage because there has to be proper land use management which will monitor and put in place future developments in the area. This includes infrastructural developments from the municipality. Vulindlela is a rural area and is on Ingonyama Trust land.