DA calls for urgent parliamentary inquiry into eThekwini water crisis

Issued by Leon Basson MP – DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation
30 Jan 2024 in News

The Democratic Alliance will call for a full parliamentary enquiry by the Portfolio Committee for Water and Sanitation into the ongoing water crisis in eThekwini.

This follows a closed-door meeting that the DA had with Umngeni-Uthukela Water officials to get a better understanding of the escalating crisis in the municipality.

During the engagement, several worsening issues around eThekwini and the supply of water were laid bare such as water losses to the tune of R144 million, which it cannot account for. This translates to about 40% of direct water loss,  exceeding the national norm. Other issues include a shortage of engineers, maintenance, and service backlog in the municipality.

The meeting also revealed that the water board supplies eThekwini with more than enough water, but residents still have no water. This vindicates the DA’s belief that eThekwini has failed frustrated residents and continues to be the problem despite their multiple blame games and promises by the Mayor, City Manager and Head of Water.

Worryingly, the entity revealed that eThekwini is a growing risk to the water board because it is the single largest customer they have. If eThekwini collapsed, so would Umngnei-Uthukela, threatening water security to the entire province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Earlier in the day, the DA delegation held engagements with residents and business owners from Phoenix who expressed their frustration and hopelessness at the water crisis they endure daily. Many of them said they feel let down and forgotten by the eThekwini municipality.

It is now crucial that Parliament steps in and urgently convene public hearings into the continued water crisis as well as forcing the eThekwini Municipality to account for this disaster under their watch.

The DA believes a multi-party government and the immediate placement of eThekwini under administration are the only solutions in fixing the catastrophic water crisis which has resulted in the gross violation of human rights.

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