DA calls for urgent eThekwini EXCO meeting to address the recent power outages and sanitation challenges

10 Jan 2022 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance in eThekwini has written to Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda to urgently request that the Executive Committee convenes as soon as possible. The city is currently facing huge challenges with sanitation and electricity. Both are incredibly urgent and have a real impact on the municipality’s residents, economy and environment.

The municipality’s failure to ensure that electricity support contracts were in place means that electricity repair capacity has been slashed since 1 January. This has seen a number of major protests and several memorandums being issued to the powers that be.

The turnaround time to repair electricity outages has increased drastically and several staff members claim that they cannot work due to threats. This situation has been going on for a week now and no real solution has been tabled or made public. This should concern members of the Executive Committee greatly. It necessitates an urgent and thorough investigation and planning for the way forward.

The situation regarding sanitation is equally worrying. All of the main Golden Mile beaches were closed on Friday after high levels of e-coli were found in the water. The city’s press statement blamed “unceasing vandalism” at a pump station. This is apparently the Johanna Road station in Sea Cow Lake, where illegal electrical connections have wrecked the facility and result in constant surcharges into the stormwater system and thus the river. This has been going on for over 18 months though and is hardly a new issue. What has been done about it?

EXCO needs to interrogate what is happening at our pump stations and why they keep malfunctioning. 110 stations reportedly have no backup pump, so if the first pump fails they overflow. Many pump stations that need generators do not have them and municipal infrastructure is old.

This needs a way forward. The DA refuses to accept constant sewage spills, closed beaches and unhealthy communities as the norm. If eThekwini needs more money to fix these problems then a plan must be made.

The first step to finding solutions is to get EXCO together with the relevant officials and managers and to get answers to the questions that linger in the air. The DA are ready and willing to get to work and play our part in finding solutions to eThekwini’s problems.

The community deserves answers and plans. It is time for Mayor Kaunda to break his silence and start leading in eThekwini.