South Africa: All Wards in Umhlatuze Without Water Since New Year

press release

The IFP notes with serious concern the ongoing water crisis in the Umhlatuze Local Municipality, which is an administrative area in the King Cetshwayo District (KCD) Municipality, which has also been identified as a Coronavirus Hotspot in KwaZulu-Natal.

Residents of 14 Wards, including Wards 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 in the municipality, have been without clean drinking water since the start of the new year.

It is shocking that residents have nowhere else to turn, especially during our fight to stop the spread of Covid-19, which requires all South Africans to regularly wash their hands and to practice extra-precautionary sanitisation measures.

Some residents have been seeking out alternative measures to keep their taps running, by collecting water from a nearby area.

We have tried to get to the bottom of the matter by requesting answers from the Municipality, only to find out that the pump at the Cubhu Dam has been stolen, and that diesel fuel has been running into the Dam, which subsequently has contaminated the water, which now needs to be decontaminated.

The IFP calls on the Minster of Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, to urgently intervene and to ramp up efforts to assist the Municipality in ensuring that the residents' constitutional right to clean drinking water is upheld, and that the residents are provided with some form of temporary relief from this drought.

Many residents fear contracting coronavirus, and many have already mourned the loss of their loved ones in this Municipality. It is therefore imperative that the Minister and her Department act as swiftly as possible to prevent the unnecessary loss of life in Umhlatuze.

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