DA walks out of Premier’s meeting in Ugu

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL

Ugu Constituency Head

 

DA walks out of Premier’s meeting in Ugu

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ugu walked out of a stakeholders meeting chaired by MEC for Public Works Ravi Pillay yesterday afternoon. This after the KwaZulu Natal Premier Willies Mchunu arrived two hours late for a meeting scheduled for 11:00 am, keeping members of the public including, the elderly, waiting. The meeting was to address the drawn-out water crisis that has affected the Ugu community that had entered its 10th day.

After giving his briefing, the floor was open to comments. To our dismay, public representatives, including municipal councillors were not allowed to provide an input. This was of concern noting that the meeting was announced on Wednesday afternoon where a number of residents could not make the time due to prior commitments, hence giving their inputs to their respective councillors. Rather than addressing the matter at hand, the Premier took the opportunity to insult members of the DA.

The water crisis in Ugu has been a sore matter for some time and public representatives have been at the coal face of it all. The Democratic Alliance is shocked by the lack of detail in the Premier’s briefing, which did not include timelines for resolving the matter nor plans for a permanent solution.

The DA’s plea was for the municipality to be placed under Section 139 Administration since the district had failed in its mandate. In addition, bulk water services must be transferred from the Ugu District Municipality to Umgeni Water. The DA expected the Premier to listen to the pleas of all the residents of the Ugu District Municipality and not to play petty politics. The communities in Ugu have suffered enough with severe water outages for the last 3 years and we expected the Premier to have listened to our solutions.

Despite the developments from yesterday’s meeting, the DA in KZN will continue the fight to ensure that service delivery in Ugu District Municipality is restored. Where the Premier fails to ensure that the best interest of the public is served, we will be left with no choice but to consider other avenues which are within the confines of the law.

Residents of Ugu must now more than ever unite for a better municipality, a municipality that will thrive in the tourism industry, see greater investment in local small business development and ensure the employ of locally empowered projects and skills development.

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