#UguWaterCrisis: DA to submit motion to declare Umuziwabantu Local Municipality a local state of disaster

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL

DA Ugu Constituency Head

 

#UguWaterCrisis: DA to submit motion to declare Umuziwabantu Local Municipality a local state of disaster

 

Notes to the editor: Kindly find the sound bite and photos for the oversight visit in the links below.
Soundbite: http://bit.ly/2NTo3yO
Photos: http://bit.ly/2LnVesu

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will submit a motion, during the next Ugu District Municipality council meeting, calling for a resolution to declare a local state of disaster for Umuziwabantu Local Municipality in terms of Section 55 of the Disaster Management Act No 57 of 2002.

This follows a DA oversight inspection to the Harding water infrastructure site where shockingly low water levels exposed the fact that Ugu District Municipality might be hiding a dire water situation.

The DA learnt that Harding Municipal Dam level is between 10-15% and the water levels are approximately 8m below the high water mark. The Harding Dam is the primary water source for the entire town.

The inlet to the water treatment plant was raised last week using ropes in an effort to avoid sucking in mud from the dam floor.

The alternative water source for Umuziwabantu Municipality is the Weza Waterworks on the Weza River. However, these waterworks were built primarily to supply water to rural areas of the district. It does not help that water levels in Weza River are currently very low with water at the extraction point.

Worse still, due to low dam levels, water is already being diverted from Weza River to feed the town of Harding causing large water outages in rural and traditional authority areas.

The Harding Water Treatment Plant is without chlorine gas and is currently using liquid chlorine. Thus water is only treated once with chlorine. There are 3 settling tanks, 2 filtration machines and 1 holding tank that are non-functional.

Day Zero is fast approaching for Harding and surrounding rural areas. It is shocking that throughout this impending humanitarian crisis there has been no information or warnings have been released to the residents of Umuziwabantu. There are over 50 schools, 1 district hospital and numerous clinics in Umuziwabantu Local Municipality, a day with no water will create a humanitarian disaster for over 50000 residents.

The DA Ugu Caucus has already given a notice of motion regarding the impending Harding Day Zero. It is as follows:

• The Ugu District Municipality and KZN Provincial Government declare Umuziwabantu Local Municipality a local disaster area in keeping with Section 55 of the Disaster Management Act
• The disaster management provisions in Section 57 of Disaster Management Act must be invoked.
• An immediate information drive on the water situation, water-saving measures and relevant water restrictions be put in place.

This motion and the Democratic Alliance call for action will be debated at the next Ugu District council meeting at the end of July. We hope that the governing party will not play petty politics and put the residents of Umuziwabantu in the forefront and support our motion.

The poor and the vulnerable Ugu District Municipality have been marginalized and left to fend for themselves. Their right to access water has been violated by the ANC led Municipality. The DA will continue in its call for the district municipality to be placed under Section 139 administration and for bulk water services to be handed over to Umgeni Water to manage.

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