eThekwini collapse: DA calls on MEC to put party politics aside as metro residents suffer

Issued by Martin Meyer, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on CoGTA
27 Nov 2023 in Press Statements

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has written to COGTA MEC, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi calling on her to put aside party politics and address the serious water issues facing eThekwini residents.

The call comes as large parts of the metro continue to suffer regular water shortages, in particular the northern areas of Inanda, KwaMashu, Phoenix, Tongaat, Cornubia, Umhlanga and Durban North.

Ongoing water outages are having a serious effect on the quality of life of residents. Not only must they put up with loadshedding – proudly brought by this ANC-run government – they often face days without water.

This, combined with the recent shocking statistics regarding e-coli levels at the metro’s beaches all point to a very bleak holiday season – which ultimately has an economic ripple effect on our entire province.

The question is: Who would want to spend their hard-earned money on visiting eThekwini under the current circumstances?

Today, the DA handed over a Memorandum of Demands to eThekwini Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda’s office (view here and here) giving him seven days to outline how the current situation will be turned around. This as his Municipal Manager – who earns more than R4million annually – and Head of Water Services are both out of the country while residents suffer.

In the interim, the DA expects MEC Sithole-Moloi to take a more proactive approach which must include;

• Engaging with eThekwini opposition party leaders to get their input on challenges

• Meeting with eThekwini ratepayers’ associations and other civic groups to establish the challenges being faced by residents on a daily basis

• Invoking Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution to place the metro under provincial administration and appointing a competent, professional and non-politically aligned administrator to take the reins and;

• Engaging retired engineers and experts in electricity and water supply to urgently assist with the current challenges.

The MEC and her department can no longer stand by and watch as eThekwini collapses. They can no longer do nothing as the elderly are forced to carry buckets of water from water tankers – if the tankers arrive at all.

They can no longer do nothing as mothers with small children, families and those who are unemployed and unable to buy water go days and even weeks without water. They can no longer do nothing as KZN’s fragile tourism sector in the metro collapses, as more jobs are lost and as people become even poorer.

Time is running out for eThekwini under KZN’s Taliban faction ANC government. And if the metro fails, our province fails.

As the head of COGTA, MEC Sithole Moloi has a responsibility to the people of eThekwini. Having taken an oath to serve, she has a moral duty to act in their best interests while any decision she makes now will affect millions of people.

KZN’s residents – regardless of race, political affiliation or socio-economic background – deserve better. When they go to the polls in 2024, they will have the opportunity to rescue our province from an incompetent and uncaring ANC government.