Umlazi protesters blame corruption for lack of water

2019-07-16 07:42
Residents used trees and stones to block several roads in the Engonyameni area near Umlazi, south of Durban, on Monday. (Musa Binda, GroundUp)

Residents used trees and stones to block several roads in the Engonyameni area near Umlazi, south of Durban, on Monday. (Musa Binda, GroundUp)

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Residents used trees and stones to block several roads in the Engonyameni area near Umlazi, south of Durban, on Monday, reports GroundUp.

The protest was in response to a lack of water.

Teaching and learning was disrupted at about 10 schools.

One of the protest leaders, Nkanyiso Msomi, said schools were not their target, but residents had taken to the streets because they had been without water for four weeks.

He added they would protest until the eThekwini Municipality restored water to their homes.

"We hear that officials are cutting our water supply so that we will get water delivered by tankers. We hear that the officials are benefiting from the water tankers," said Msomi.

He added the information had come from people within the municipality.

Msomi said tanker drivers were forcing people to pay for water.

ALSO READ: Umlazi protest emanated from disgruntled contract workers

Two people, who did not want to be named, told GroundUp they had bought water tanks because of the ongoing problems. For the past six months, they have been paying the drivers R200 to fill the tanks at home.

Some residents said they were sourcing water from the Umlazi River.

Msomi said they were calling on the acting mayor, Fawzia Peer, to investigate the allegations.

He added when they enquired at the municipality a few days ago, they were told that the water reservoir was empty, saying they had discovered that this was not true.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said it would dispatch a team of officials who would go to the area, speak to the residents and investigate the matter.

He added the municipality was busy with a multimillion-rand water project, while it was doing everything in its power to ensure residents have access to clean water through water tankers.

Mayisela said the municipality had appealed to residents to be calm and patient.

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Read more on:    durban  |  service delivery  |  protests
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