Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka being shown around the SANDF operated water purification initiative which has brought water to communities in Mhlabuyalingana, Jozini and Big Five-Hlabisa Local Municipalities.

1 September 2020

KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka this morning launched a ground-breaking water purification and carting project wherein his department and the uMkhanyakude district municipality are partnering with the South African National Defence Force to purify raw water taken from the Mkhuze River and distribute it to needy communities across the district.

Through this intervention, the SANDF is utilising its experts and resources to purify up to 150 000 litres of water a day drawn from the river in Nhlangano village in Ward 3 of the Jozini local municipality. This water is then distributed to rural communities in uMhlabuyalingana, Jozini, and Big Five Hlabisa municipalities through water tankers provided by the district.

This cost-effective intervention also enables water tankers to deliver water to communities faster, thus eliminating the need for locals to travel long distances to access purified water. Speaking at the launch this morning, Hlomuka has emphasised the cost-effectiveness of this short-term intervention, through which more than 45 000 households, including schools and businesses, are benefiting.

“The uMkhanyakude district is a water-scarce area with the biggest dam in the district (the Phongola Poort Dam) currently sitting at 41%, which is very low. This is the result of the drought that has affected many water sources across our province. We are relieved by the support that has been provided by the SANDF. With their own expertise in water purification, the water is constantly tested for quality,” said Hlomuka.

During today’s launch, Hlomuka was accompanied by the uMkhanyakude district Mayor Cllr Mkhombo, who emphasised the district’s commitment to ensuring that the water that is purified by the SANDF is carted to surrounding communities speedily. Hlomuka has thanked the SANDF for the good work their team of soldiers has been doing through this intervention.

A member of the community, Hlengiwe Mkhize (47) has welcomed the intervention which has brought water closer. “We no longer face the risk of being injured by wild animals and crocodiles as we no longer have to fetch water from the river and we are now able to access it from the SANDF-managed area,” said Mkhize.

For more information, contact: Ms Nonala Ndlovu, 066 282 6903; or Senzelwe Mzila, 082 474 1882