ActionSA gears up for public hearings on eThekwini water crisis

Following service delivery protests regarding the ongoing water outages in eThekwini, ActionSA will hold public hearings in affected communities within the coming weeks.

In the community of uMgababa, the residents of Ehlanzeni and Mgobhozini have gone without reliable access to water for over a decade. Last week’s service delivery protests failed to move the municipality to action. In KwaMakhutha, South of eThekwini, residents have been forced to ration water and rely on rainwater to survive. The residents of ward 94 have also fared no better, with documented cases of prolonged water outages dating back to 2018.

Recently, residents were abandoned for three weeks without access to water – a regular occurrence for this community. Similar accounts have been recorded from the residents of KwaXimba and uMzinyathi.

Following successful public hearings on the water crisis in Hammanskraal, Tshwane, ActionSA will be holding independent public hearings on the ongoing water crisis in eThekwini, calling on Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, City officials and Provincial Government to appear and account to communities.

While they will undoubtedly refuse to appear, this itself will be telling. We will also be writing to the South African Humans Rights Commission, also requesting their assistance on this urgent matter. This process will produce a report which will form the basis of our efforts to hold the city of eThekwini to account, and our plans to address this issue following the Local Government Elections.

It is obvious that Mayor Kaunda and his administration are content to marginalise poor rural communities by ignoring all pleas for access to water. All the while, the ANC-led eThekwini Municipality continues with efforts to squeeze funds from vulnerable residents of the city. The ANC unashamedly plans to extort an additional R1.50 per kilolitre of water from residents as part of their tariffs structure, coupled with an above 14% hike in the cost of electricity.

The continuation of prolonged water outages throughout the city is a colossal service delivery failure and cannot go unattended. It should not matter whether you are black or white or where you live, all residents within eThekwini must get access to quality basic services.

ActionSA is dedicated to contesting the coming Local Government Elections in eThekwini and forming the core of an alternative government that will serve the residents by providing access to quality basic services. A caring, pro-poor ActionSA government would prioritise uninterrupted access to potable water for all the residents of eThekwini and ensure that we adopt tariff systems that do not further worsen the plight of our most vulnerable members of society.