Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has undertaken to resolve the water supply challenges in the City of eThekwini by 15 February 2024.
Mchunu made the commitment during a meeting held with the residents of Verulam, Tongaat and Phoenix on Sunday, following a number of protests by the communities over constant water supply problems.
Accompanied by uMngeni-uThukela Water Board Chairperson, Advocate Vusi Khuzwayo, and eThekwini Speaker, Thabani Nyawose, the Minister met with stakeholders, including Verulam Water Crisis Committee representatives, where the residents urged the department to intervene and resolve the constant water supply challenges.
The residents also urged the eThekwini Municipality to implement a proper billing system, and urgently address water leak repairs.
In his address to affected community members, Mchunu emphasised that water is a basic human need and a Constitutional right.
“Some institutions, including schools and hospitals like Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital, have been without water. This is an occurrence that should not be allowed, and one that should be addressed with great urgency,” he said.
Mchunu also condemned the incident happened at a recent community protest, where some residents sustained injuries and others got arrested.
“eThekwini is a Water Services Authority and is responsible to ensure that water reaches citizens. We apologise for the occurrences, and as the national Department of Water and Sanitation, we cannot absolve ourselves, as doing so would be a dereliction of duty.
“Instead, we are engaging and working together with officials from the city,” Mchunu assured residents.