KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka and KZN MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza, who is also the political champion of the Ugu District under Operation Sukuma Sakhe, this morning jointly inspected the water tankers utilised by the district as part of its water delivery fleet.

The inspection comes following several engagements the MEC’s had with the local communities whose members have expressed their dissatisfaction with the frequency of the rollout of water tankers and the quality of water they provide. During the inspection, the MEC’s were accompanied by water technicians from the district who took samples of water carried by the trucks in order to inspect its quality.

Through the inspection, the MEC’s noted several issues of concern when it came to the state of some of the water tankers, their roadworthiness and being fit for purpose. The MEC’s then directed the District through the Mayor Cllr Ngcobo to tighten its control measures in order to ensure that only roadworthy and compliant tankers form part of its fleet.

As part of the engagement, the MEC’s visited eZingolweni where residents protested last month calling for improved provision of basic services, such as water. During the protest, criminal elements caused the destruction of municipal property which runs into millions of rand. When addressing the residents, amakhosi and business people, MEC Hlomuka condemned the destruction of public property perpetrated by criminals who infiltrated these community protests.

The issues of concern to residents include the improvement in the provision of water and other basic services. Residents also expressed their dismay at the level of destruction that happened in their community.

In his response, MEC Hlomuka explained to residents the steps that are being taken by the Provincial Government in its support to the district and the family of municipalities in the rollout of services, such as water.

“Some of the concerns have already been addressed while others are currently receiving attention. One of the issues is the expansion of the volume of water extracted from the Umthavuna River for purification and distribution to Ezingolweni, KwaXolo and Southbroom. This project is fully funded by Cogta to the tune of R14-million and is being implemented by Eskom,” said MEC Hlomuka.