ANC and DA unlikely allies against Ugu over water problems

Mzwandile Mkhwanazi (left), secretary of the ANC Lower South Coast Region, and ANC regional spokesman Selvan Chetty.

THE ANC also has now also blamed Ugu officials for all the district’s woes.

On Monday, the ANC gave Ugu an ultimatum to either shape up and provide proper water and sanitation to all communities or face consequences.

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At a media briefing, together with the Regional ‘Lekgotla’ (strategic planning) at Margate Hotel, ANC regional secretary Mzwandile Mkhwanazi admitted that Ugu’s service delivery was ‘in shambles’.

He said Ugu had been given until Friday, April 7, to deal with water challenges being faced by all communities.

Mr Mkhwanazi said Ugu’s communication with both stakeholders and the community at large was in ‘a critical state’ and Ugu officials needed to address this urgently.

“Ugu needs to be pro-active and not re-active as we have seen in the past.”

Mr Mkhwanazi also pinned challenges faced by Ugu on derelict infrastructure. More people were being supplied water through infrastructure that was only meant to service a few.

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“In the past, pipes and infrastructure were only created to service a small portion of our population, hence the current infrastructure is struggling to cope.”

Mr Mkhwanazi said they had also been informed by Ugu that it was in the process of replacing the old infrastructure, causing some of the outages.

Some of the issues at Ugu he said needed urgent attention were:

* Coming up with a viable communication strategy;

* Holding pre-season meetings with public stakeholders to inform them of their plans;

* Providing solutions to sewage spillage problems;

* Creating alternative plans in case of emergencies;

* Probing alleged ‘high’ capital contribution fee.

Mr Mkhwanazi said that, with Easter approaching, Ugu could not afford to ‘tip-toe around with the economy of the South Coast’.

“Tourism is an important contributor to our economy. If you don’t take tourism seriously, then you won’t have Ugu.”

On allegations of infrastructure sabotage, he said investigations were continuing and assured Murchison Hospital and surrounding communities that Ugu had promised to sort out their issues swiftly.

d ANC regional spokesman Selvan Chetty pleaded with communities to remain patient while Ugu replaced old infrastructure.

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Zimasa Mgwili
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