DA calls on MEC Hlomuka to intervene in Msinga municipality water woes

Issued by Maliyakhe Shelembe , MP – UMzinyathi Constituency Head
02 Jun 2021 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Msinga Local Municipality has written to KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sipho Hlomuka, to request for his urgent intervention where Msinga communities are forced to pay R30.00 per 200 litres of water to privately owned water trucks for normal household use.

The failure of the uMzinyathi District Municipality to provide people with water has led to these bogus water trucks exploiting people. According to the municipality tariffs, residents are meant to pay R8,45 cents per 1 000 litres. Instead, they are paying exorbitant amounts!

Most of these residents fall under the indigent category which qualifies them for a portion of free water usage. This is not possible though as the Municipality has failed time and time again to provide this human right basic need.

Those who cannot afford to buy from these trucks are left with no option but to share water with animals in the dirty streams which are 5 km away. This is totally unacceptable and no human should be subjected to such ill-treatment.

This IFP-run municipality has made life for residents unbearable. For an already economically distressed area to now be deprived of water and for them to have to buy water is a blatant disregard of their plight. Water is not a luxury and residents should not have to suffer this indignity because of the shortcomings of the municipality.

As the DA we cannot fold our arms whilst those in charge are undermining the right and dignity of our communities. We need to know why after 26 years of Democracy the people of Msinga still do not have access to clean water whilst under the watchful eye of the KZN MEC for CoGTA.

We cannot afford to allow those in charge of the uMzinyathi District Municipality to keep failing to execute their mandates which is to deliver clean water to communities as required in terms of Chapter 2 section 27 (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. In terms of powers and functions, uMzinyathi District Municipality is responsible and required to ensure that communities under its jurisdiction have access to clean water.

Residents at the local Mhlangane area have lost hope not knowing whether or not they will ever get clean water from the municipality. They have been living under these conditions for 26 years. Unemployment in Msinga is extremely high and the majority of the community is reliant on government grants. We therefore cannot expect them to cough up more funds to get to pay such exorbitant prices for a service that should be rendered by the municipality.

One of the functions of a local government is to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable and affordably manner. However, what we are witnessing in Msinga and uMzinyathi District municipality is the complete opposite. The option for change remains in the hands of the residents of Msinga municipality in the 2021 Local Government Elections. The power of change is in their vote.

It is in this regard that we have written to MEC Hlomuka. He needs to spell out what he intends on doing to ensure that water is made available as provided in the constitution. The Department must ensure that the Water Master Plan is urgently implemented in the Msinga municipality.

The IFP, just like the ANC, has failed in delivering services to the people, it is time for the people of Msinga and all other areas to change their votes and give the DA a chance.