South Africa
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UGU Municipality water crisis must be fixed before holidays

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on KZN Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, to urgently engage with the provincial cabinet in order to ensure a consistent water supply within the Ugu District Municipality ahead of the summer holiday season.

The DA said in a statement on Monday that the purpose of its urgent call to the MEC to resolve the ongoing water crisis in the South Coast Municipality was two fold – to ensure water supply for health requirements, such as hand washing, to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and to protect the livelihoods of thousands of residents.

“Firstly, Ugu relies heavily on tourism and the success of the upcoming days and weeks are critical in ensuring the livelihoods of thousands of residents within this sector,” the DA said.

“Then there is the identification of the new Covid-19 variant B1.1.529 – Omicron – with ongoing research being done to determine the transmissibility and the effects on vaccines, morbidity and mortality. The most important preventative measures for Covid-19 are non-pharmaceutical, including hand-washing and sanitising surfaces. Both require water,” the DA added.

No time to waste to fix Ugu water crisis

However, the DA said that large parts of the Ugu District Municipality continued to have severe water outages which affected local healthcare facilities and residents alike, sometimes for days on end.

“Ugu’s financial problems are also impacting on water service delivery as the municipality continues to receive qualified audits and unfunded budgets,” the DA said.

“If MEC Simelane-Zulu and KZN’s cabinet cannot secure reliable water access, then the municipality must be placed under administration in terms of Section 139,” the DA said.

The DA said that there was no time to waste to ensure service delivery in Ugu Municipality.

“The influx of visitors within just a matter of days demands that the supply of water be prioritised,” the DA said.