Question NW396 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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15 April 2021 - NW396

Buthelezi, Ms SA to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

In light of the fact that early in January 2021 a total number of 202 communities in KwaZulu-Natal served by the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality had no water for nearly a week, and in view of the fact that although water has been restored, there are reports of civil action to be taken against the specified municipality, what immediate action will be taken to rehabilitate ageing water infrastructure considering the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the urgent need for water security?

Reply:

I have been informed by the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality that the main cause of the water outages in eThekwini in early January 2021 was the lack of capacity within the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality to deal with mechanical and electrical failures. There was a delay in the awarding of the maintenance contracts which are now in the final stages of procurement and should be awarded within the next month.

I am further informed that electricity outages result in a shortage of supply when there is load shedding. Therefore, the unit that deals with electricity issues in the municipality has been approached to find a way of excluding Wiggins and Durban Heights Waterworks from load shedding. I have been advised that it has now been agreed that the two works will be excluded from load shedding when ESKOM imposes levels below Level 3 load shedding.  

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