Never again, Ugu promises

Ugu Municipal Manager DD Naidoo.

UGU District Municipality has assured the public that steps will be put in place to ensure that the devastating water crisis which hit much of the South Coast this festive season never happens again.

Unless it’s due to other problems beyond their control, of course.

We make no excuses and take full responsibility, – municipal manager, DD Naidoo.

“We really do feel for the people who saved up for a whole year for a holiday only to suffer with no running water.”

In a frank interview with the Herald, Mr Naidoo and his top officials spoke about their own nightmares as they tried their best to cope with one of the worst disasters to hit the municipality.

They also outlined plans that were already being put in place to upgrade the coast’s ageing water system and the priorities.

A task team is already evaluating all waste and pump stations and a ‘master plan’ will be presented as soon as possible. It will also be presented to the Departments of Health and Water and Sanitation. The respective ministers – national and provincial – have been in the loop throughout the crisis.

Although this is only one suggestion at the moment, a massive multi-million rand generator is being considered as back-up (Plan B) should Eskom power fail for any reason, shutting down Ugu pump stations.

This is exactly what has happened at the moment and there will once again be no water to areas between Southbroom and Port Edward and inland to Izingolweni, KwaXolo, Gcilima and Mvutshini for an unknown period.

Priority areas already identified are Port Edward, Mvutshini, Gcilima, Southbroom, Mtwalume and Marburg. In some areas, pipes will be replaced.

Earlier this week, a special communications task team was also set up – including ward councillors and other community representatives – who will be given updates and progress reports twice a day.

Whether people like to admit it or not, the current Ugu water system was built to mainly serve people living on the coastal belt all those years ago. It’s old and stressed beyond capacity now that it has been extended to citizens living further inland. This latest crisis might just be the catalyst for funds to be found to solve the problem once and for all.

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