OPINION: ‘MEC has resorted to obvious diversion tactics’

DEAR Editor,-

The Democratic Alliance calls on KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube to focus on resolving the ongoing water crisis within the Ugu District Municipality rather than on an alleged transgression of the Legislature Rules by the DA.

The claim comes after the Province’s CoGTA Budget Debate earlier this week, which saw the DA present a petition to the MEC on behalf of more than 2 000 Ugu residents.

Their request was that the MEC invoke Section 154 of the Constitution, which provides additional support to the municipality after months of serious problems with the delivery of water. The MEC’s response was to tear up the document presented to her by the DA.

The DA learned through a media report that the MEC intends taking action after we allegedly failed to follow the rules when it comes to handing over a petition.

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: WATCH: DA marches through Port Shepstone to hand over memorandum to Ugu

There is nothing within the rules of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature that prohibits a member from handing over a petition to an MEC. The only stipulation is that petitions be handed over to the Office of the Speaker, which we have already done.

The MEC’s response to this entire debacle is typical of the ANC; avoiding the urgent matter at hand and rather shifting focus to the DA.

Instead of dedicating her time and energy to dealing with the shocking situation in Ugu, she is more concerned about the DA. She has also clearly realised that in tearing up the petition she has shown blatant disrespect and arrogant behaviour, and has now resorted to what are obvious diversion tactics.

The water shortages being experienced in Ugu are extremely serious. Preliminary reporting following the last water disruptions in 2016/17 show that they resulted in more than 2 000 holiday reservation cancellations or shortening of stays by tourists. South Coast businesses and the hospitality industry also recorded a loss of more than R2-million for the 2015/16 financial year due to water disruptions.

Worst of all, some 2 000 beachgoers had to be treated for gastroenteritis at local health facilities due to sewage spills into the Ivungu River from the Masinenge RDP Housing Settlement.

The people of Ugu have every right to be angry. They also have the right to expect an apology from the MEC for the lack of response to the current water crisis. The DA is committed to fighting on behalf of the people of Ugu and will continue to petition the MEC directly until such time as she acts in their best interests.

HLANGANANI GUMBI MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on CoGTA

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