Imbali water crisis a joke to ANC-led Msunduzi

Issued by Hannah Winkler, MP – DA Midlands Constituency Head
06 Jun 2023 in Press Statements

The DA in Msunduzi will tomorrow meet with the General Manager of Infrastructure, Mr Sabelo Hlela for a discussion and request for urgent intervention as residents of Unit 14, Imbali are still without water for almost a year. Should there not be an immediate intervention, the DA will approach Provincial and National government.

This follows the DA’s oversight visit to the community to ascertain the impact of the crisis.

During a full council meeting held last week, the DA raised concerns that these residents have been suffering without access to water due to the municipality’s evident failure to maintain water infrastructure. In the same meeting, in a shocking twist of priorities, the ANC-led Msunduzi Municipality elected to channel a significant portion of their Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) of R10 million towards community halls. Halls that will be used mostly by the ANC to host meetings and tell residents about “a better life for all”.

The DA’s insistence that the MIG grant should be prioritised for water infrastructure over community halls was met with laughter by the ANC.

The decision to use MIG funding for community halls contradicts its intended purpose, as outlined in legislation. The Division of Revenue Act stipulates that MIG grants should be prioritised to provide basic services to communities, especially those that lack them, and should be used primarily for the maintenance and upgrading of existing infrastructure, such as water and sewerage services.

The situation in Imbali has deteriorated to a point where leaks and burst pipes are littered across the area, leading to constant water flows in the streets that not only disrupt water pressure but also contribute to the substantial destruction of road infrastructure. Residents, out of desperation, have even taken to collecting water with buckets from pools of water emanating from leaks along the side of the road.

The residents of Imbali in Unit 14 deserve better than to have their basic human rights infringed upon due to the blatant mismanagement of funds. The ANC-led Msunduzi has boldly demonstrated that it once again would sooner invest in its electioneering efforts using critical infrastructure funding at the expense of providing basic services to ensure human welfare and dignity in the city.

The DA is committed to holding Msunduzi Municipality accountable for this neglect. We call on all affected residents to contact Councillor Sibusiso Chonco to sign a petition calling for immediate intervention by Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla.

As the DA, we will continue to advocate for fair, responsible, and transparent governance in service delivery. It is our firm belief that government funds should be utilised in a manner that prioritizes the welfare of Msunduzi residents and upholds the principles of good governance.