The water crisis and severe drought faced in northern KwaZulu-Natal and other provinces in our country, such as the Eastern Cape, require Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to urgently get back to the drawing board and effect meaningful change to stop taps from running dry.
We are mindful of the infrastructure challenges and the hundreds of cases in which water tankers, pipes and most water projects have been bungled by criminals and officials within her Department. However, for each and every day where no action is taken, government is in violation of all citizen’s rights to water, as enshrined in our Constitution.
The provision of clean drinking water is a legal requirement of government – not an option. Therefore, Minister Sisulu and the Department of Water and Sanitation have their work cut out for them to urgently intervene in water-starved areas in our country.
Just recently, the community of Ndumo outside Ngwavuma in northern KZN started digging their own holes to fetch water in dangerous conditions. Residents have been left with no choice but to take matters into their own hands, as government has failed them and failed to uphold their rights and dignity.
Bulk water infrastructure and maintenance in KZN and other parts of our country have been neglected, and it has taken months for government to implement any plan or strategy.
Temporary relief measures might satisfy the current need, in terms of the Covid-19 crisis we face as a nation right now. However, the IFP believes that we must focus on the long-term roll-out of infrastructure to keep taps from running dry.
Xolani Ngwezi, MP
IFP Spokesperson on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
076 975 5555