Response from the Department of Water and Sanitation to address water challenges in Ugu District Municipality and Southbroom Area

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is addressing the ongoing water challenges in the Ugu District Municipality (DM) and Southbroom area.

In response to FEDHASA’s inquiry regarding water challenges, Dr Sean Phillips, Director-General of the Department of Water and Sanitation, has penned a response, confirming that water supply issues, exacerbated by demand surpassing capacity, particularly in the Umtamvuna water supply system, are being tackled.

Negotiations for additional power from the Eastern Cape are underway to alleviate shortages in KwaZulu-Natal, with a 4-month timeline for implementing power line installations.

The DWS, in collaboration with the Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, is actively monitoring turnaround plans and projects to improve water supply, allocating an extra £150 million for interventions. This funding will enhance operational stability, bulk metering, valve refurbishment, telemetry, emergency borehole programs, and infrastructure upgrades.

Long-term initiatives include planning for regional bulk water supply projects and the construction of the Cwabeni Dam, anticipated to be completed by 2033 at a cost of £1.8 billion. Despite acknowledging that immediate improvements may not be universal, the DWS is committed to supporting the Ugu DM in fulfilling its constitutional responsibility for water service provision. Continuous financial support and technical oversight are provided, and progress is closely monitored. Members are encouraged to participate in established task teams to address challenges effectively.

To read the full response issued by Dr Phillips, click here.

Water Interruptions Affecting Businesses, Livelihoods

The catastrophic water interruptions in the northern parts of Durban have dealt another blow to businesses in the area. Last week, some residents and businesses, including hotels and restaurants, had little to no water due to some reservoirs’ incapability of producing the resource. In a report by East Coast radio, FEDHASA’s Brett Tungay said the municipality needs to deal with these issues and other problems that are impacting businesses. Read more.

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