DA will crack down on KZN ‘water mafia’

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA Shadow Minister of Police
11 Apr 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Andrew Whitfield  MP as well as pictures here, here and here.

Following an oversight visit with the DA KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Candidate, Chris Pappas to the Ottawa Water Works in eThekwini, it has become clear that the “water mafia” is quickly making its way into the city.

The unfolding crisis in KZN has led to critical water shortages in several communities, with dire consequences for the fundamental human rights of local residents. To make matters worse, it has been reported that a “water mafia” has set up shop in the KZN, allegedly sabotaging critical water infrastructure in order to extend lucrative government contracts for the provisioning of water tankers in order to profit from the ongoing crisis. In other areas, there have been reports of unmarked and privately-owned trucks selling water obtained from municipal taps to local residents at extortionate prices.

Following the DA’s engagements with the local community, workers at the Ottawa Water Works, and other stakeholders in eThekwini earlier today, it has become clear that there is a concerted drive by criminal elements in the province to weaponise water for their own illicit gains. The total collapse of the eThekwini government, under the helm of the ANC-EFF doomsday coalition, has left the door wide open for these criminal syndicates to abuse vulnerable and desperate residents.

The South African Police Service (SAPS), under the failed leadership of Minister Bheki Cele, is clearly unable to deal with this crisis. His record of cracking down on organised crime is abysmal, having only been able to neutralise 4 out of a staggering 41 identified drug syndicates and 11 out of an identified 48 organised criminal groups in the last financial year.

It is high time that policing powers be devolved to competent local and provincial government so that the law enforcement officers, and specialised units such as the Anti-Gang Unit, who are tasked with keeping our communities safe and secure are properly resourced and capacitated to tackle organised crime.

The DA will write to the National Police Commissioner to demand answers on what the SAPS response will be to these reports and demand swift and decisive action to prevent any further harm falling on the residents of KZN.

The DA supports KZN Premier Candidate, Chris Pappas’s call for a provincial police service in the province to effectively deal with crime. In order to protect our lives, water and livelihoods, the DA calls on South Africans to vote DA on 29 May and Rescue SA from the ANC’s failed policing.