DA dismisses eThekwini water crisis response from Minister Mchunu

Issued by Bradley Singh, MPL – DA Phoenix, Verulam and Tongaat Constituency Head
05 Feb 2024 in Press Statements

The DA has rejected the response from Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu on the water crisis in Northern eThekwini including Phoenix, Verulam and Tongaat.

This as the Minister failed to address critical issues such as the loss of 40% of water purchased from UMngeni-uThukela Water amounting to R144 million a month, and poor infrastructure maintenance. He also failed to hold to account the eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) department. The DA believes that the EWS Head should be fired for sheer incompetence.

The Minister has promised to restore water without interruption by 15 February 2024. If this does not happen, we will call on him to resign for his failure and empty promises. The people of eThekwini are fed up with incompetence and there must be consequences .

The DA is not surprised by the decision to exclude DA councillors from this engagement, who now have nothing to report back to disgruntled communities. This is regardless of the response from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following the establishment of a war room that the DA had fought for.

Item number 3.10 as per the response from the SAHRC reads as follows:

3.10 The meeting resolved that regular meetings will be scheduled and facilitated by eThekwini Municipality. These meetings take place twice a week and are attended by representatives from the affected communities which include councillors from the DA, representatives of UMngeni-uThukela Water as well as EWS. These meetings are set to continue until access to water has been restored to the affected communities.

The city has yet to develop an effective plan and has not procured enough tankers and auxiliary measures to assist residents during this time, which is a clear sign of incompetence.

The DA demands consequences for the city’s inability to deliver water to residents. Should the city fail to comply with its deadlines, the DA will seek judicial relief.

We reiterate our call for the dissolution of eThekwini municipality so that residents can elect a DA government that will provide them with water and essential services.