By George Mari, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on COGTA:
RECENT visits by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to certain northern KZN municipalities again highlighted the failure to deliver basic services to communities, with water delivery in particular in a state of crisis.
To add to the problem, the Kwa Dukuza/Lower Tugela Water Scheme and the pipeline from Tugela to Hazelmere Dam remain incomplete. The DA has long suggested alternate water harvesting solutions, including desalination plants along the coast. This would supply water to big water users like farmers and mining.
The delegation also noted other ongoing municipal challenges such as ongoing inability by officials to budget properly, a lack of capacity and skills, burgeoning debt as a result of poor debt collection, historical debt which is still burdening municipalities and unfunded mandates.
All of the above has made the lives of these communities even harder as they struggle to exist on a daily basis amid shocking levels of poverty.
It is time that the KZN government took heed of how its actions affect the people of this province.
It is also time for KZN’s people to ensure that these same individuals are held to account for their lack of action when it comes to service delivery within municipalities.
Their opportunity to do so will come during next year’s local government elections.