MEC must instruct all districts to prioritise water provision

George Mari, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on COGTA:

THE DA in KwaZulu-Natal calls on MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, to send a clear directive to districts to prioritise the provision of water in their budgets as the province reels from the effect of ongoing drought conditions.

It is a constitutional right to have access to clean and safe running water. Yet, in 2013, there were 5,298million people without access to safe drinking water.

The results of poor sanitation are devastating.  Child mortality more than doubles if children drink water that doesn’t come from a tap. Major intervention is needed to prevent more unnecessary deaths and illnesses caused by the water crisis in our province,

The cost estimate for an interim intermediate water solution for KZN is R7billion.  The issue of water supply requires drastic intervention and as the political head of local government it is up to the MEC, along with her department, to make sure that funds are allocated in accordance with this.

According to a Statistics SA General Household Survey in 2012, 87.3% of KZN households had access to piped or tap water either on or off site.  In 2013 the figure fell to 86.2%.

The same trend has emerged again in terms of water quality, with an increase in the number of people who noted that water was not safe to drink, not clear and did not taste good.

The DA in KZN has taken a proactive stance and has embarked on a campaign aimed at educating residents of KZN on the issue of water.  We do so with a wealth of input from our colleagues in the DA-run Western Cape where, by 2011, 99% of residents had access to piped water.

It is unacceptable that, after 20 of democracy, communities are still unable to shed the ravages of Apartheid and continue to struggle to receive the most basic of services such as water which is life sustaining.

The DA will pursue this matter through the KZN COGTA portfolio committee.