Unrest confirmed, grievances not addressed

2018-03-08 06:00
PHOTO: Precious GumedeUmthavuna Plant employee December Jalubane points to one of the valves that was tampered with last week.

PHOTO: Precious GumedeUmthavuna Plant employee December Jalubane points to one of the valves that was tampered with last week.

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AWEEK after an incident of vandalism of municipal infrastructure and tampering of scouring valves in the KwaGoqoza area, where the Umtumvuna plant is situated, the Fever received information that this was in fact due to community unrest.

A resident who requested his name not be revealed, claims the municipality is well aware of why the community tampered with the water system.

The resident said when he read the front-page story of last Thursdays Fever, he was shocked by the comments made by Ugu Mayor Mondli Chiliza.

“I do not know why Ugu is not telling the truth. They know exactly what the crux of the matter is,” said the resident.

Last week, Ugu published a statement saying that members of the community need to work with the police and the municipality to apprehend the culprits.

In the same statement, Ugu denied that the vandalism was a result of unrest by the community.

The resident said that despite countless arrangements and e-mails between the municipality and KwaGoqoza leadership, the municipality has failed to meet with the community to address issues.

“Only seven employees at the plant are from KwaGoqoza. That was not the initial agreement made with the municipality when it made proposals to build the plant in the eighties. People were told that the Umthavuna plant would bring employment opportunities and that is not happening. People want answers,” said the resident.

The resident said the municipality last communicated with them urging the community to bare with the mayor until after the festive season, promising to meet with them at the beginning of January.

“We had a meeting on Sunday and the induna said the Ugu water services management will be meeting with the community this Sunday.”

Acting Ugu senior manager of communications, Trevor Khanyile, said the municipality has dealt with what was thought to be the problem in the community.

He has confirmed that the security personnel patrolling in KwaGoqoza were place by the municipality as security measures to find the culprits vandalising municipal infrastructure.

“People were employed during the construction and some were employed to work at the plant. That was the number that could be absorbed by the municipality. Ugu has been in communication with the local induna.

He requested he speaks to the community before the mayor meets with them.

After the meeting with the induna, water service officials will meet with people,” he said.

Khanyile said investigations are continuing,

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