DA presents plan to solve eThekwini’s R710m water wastage woes

The plan would see greater spending on replacing old pipes and quicker response times to repair leaks, among others.

eThekwini metro municipality residents are being punished because of poor water management, the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal said on Sunday.

“It cannot be that a city that receives 1009mm in rain annually cannot find a solution to its water shortages,” DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango told journalists at a press conference in Durban on the DA’s plan to prevent the metro losing 46 percent of its water.

The plan, to be presented to mayor Zandile Gumede this week, would see greater spending on replacing old pipes, quicker response times to repair leaks, encouraging rain water harvesting in formal as well as informal settlements, harvesting and storing water from storm water drains, and education programmes to encourage water saving.

DA human settlements and infrastructure whip in the council Martin Meyer said that since the local government elections on August 3 last year, the municipality’s human settlements and infrastructure committee had yet to discuss the city’s water issues.

While Durban and surrounding areas had a high rainfall, most of the dams supplying water were in drought-stricken areas with, on average, a lower rainfall than Durban.

“The paradox is that eThekwini is a rainy drought stricken city. Water wastage is at a phenomenal high,” Meyer said.

The African National Congress-controlled municipality’s only plan to deal with water shortages was to switch off water supplies. Switching on and off caused changing water pressure and consequently more leaks because the old pipes could not cope with the changes in pressure, he said.

According to a recent auditor general’s report presented to the eThekwini council, 132.52 million kilolitres of water valued at R710.90 million had been lost.

“We are always told that we [the DA] just criticise. This time around we have come up with a solution,” Mncwango said.
– African News Agency (ANA)