Protest in Etete

2017-03-15 06:03

PROTEST action broke out in Etete at around 6am on Tuesday over a housing project in the area.

Umhlali SAPS spokesperson Vinny Pillay said between 6am and 7am protesters blocked the road until members of the SAPS arrived on location to monitor the situation. He said though the road was cleared, protesters remained in the area.

KwaDukuza Municipality communications officer Sphelelo Ngobese said: “We can confirm that some of our officials did engage with the community this morning [Tuesday], but they have not yet officially reported on this matter. Once we receive a report, council may then take the necessary steps in responding to the present issues to ensure stability.”

Speaking to the Weekly on Tuesday noon, KwaDukuza Municipality director of communications Sifiso Zulu said the municipality’s council speaker had made her way to the area on Tuesday morning to meet with the protesters.

This protest action over the housing project in the area is not the first in recent years.

Last year, KwaDukuza mayor officiated over the commencement of the housing project in the area in May.

During his officiation, the mayor had said 1480 would be built over a duration of two years.

This came after an earlier protest in April 2016 which had erupted over the same housing issue.

When the mayor met with the aggrieved protesters in April he had promised Etete community members that work on the project would commence on 23 May 2016.

During that meeting in April 2016, when the mayor stated that the project would commence the following month, he explained that at that juncture sanitation had been the reason the project had been delayed since 2013, which is a matter handled by the district municipality, and that the local municipality had met with the iLembe District Municipality (IDM) and had requested to continue with the housing project.

The district municipality was contacted about this matter around that period of last year’s protest.

IDM manager of technical services Cingisa Mbola had said that the municipality was spending millions to remove mud, sludge and sediments – desludging – in areas such as Etete, Nkobongo and Shaka’s Head.

Mbola said this resulted with IDM conducting preliminary geotechnical and other related studies to determine the level of the underground water table in these areas.

“The study informed the district to implement waterborne sanitation as the best option as the area [has a] high water table,” Mbola said.

She said subsequently IDM applied for funding for the project from the Department of Water and Sanitation and the application was approved in December 2014.

“A number of stakeholders were to contribute including KwaDukuza, iLembe, and Semcorb Siza Water,” she said. Mbola said IDM had allocated R89 million for the project scheduled to commence during the 2015/2016 financial year.

“This amount will be drawn from the MIG [Municipal Infrastructure Grant] funding over a period of three years. A service provider has been appointed by IDM to undertake feasibility studies such as EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment], WULA [Water Use License Approval], detailed geotechnical studies and detailed engineering designs. Such studies normally take between eight to 12 months periods, particularly Water Use License (WULA) as it is approved at National Level,” she said.

She confirmed that the two municipalities, iLembe and KwaDukuza, had agreed that VIP toilets be used temporarily “until such time the District is in a position to connect the housing project into waterborne sanitation.”


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