3 JUNE 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EThekwini Human Settlements And Infrastructure Committee Decisions

ILLEGAL WATER CONNECTION PROSECUTIONS GENERATES REVENUE TOTALLING R8M FOR CITY

The clamp down of over 14 000 illegal water connections since 2012 to March 2015 has led to eThekwini Municipality collecting revenue in excess of R8 million as a result of prosecutions.

The Municipality continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the Water Amnesty opportunity offered to declare illegal connections and be regularised at a cost of R250. 

The Water Amnesty offer allows customers to be converted to legal water users. 

To date, the Municipality has received a total number of about 3058 water amnesty applications. 

The Municipality is reported to be losing about 237 million litres a day, due to illegal water connection, vandalism and leaks that are not reported timeously.

These shocking statistics were revealed by eThekwini Mayor Cllr James Nxumalo last year, during a day-long visit to INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu) where residents are most affected by a surge of illegal water connections and burst water pipes.

The Municipality’s Water and Sanitation Unit (EWS) has focused its attention on reducing the non-revenue water in the INK area as well as improving the levels of supply for the communities.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube are acutely aware of challenges faced by the Municipality and have supported the various projects and educational initiatives such as “War On Leaks” which are aimed at educating communities on water saving and to report water leaks.

The water supply system in the area has deteriorated and the contributing factors are as follows:

•Illegal water connections. Statistically, non-paying consumers use much more water than paying customers and also repeatedly reconnect themselves after EWS has removed the illegal connection;

•There is rampant vandalism and theft of our water infrastructure;

•The security of our staff is a major concern. Many incidents are taking place when our staff members are sent out to remove illegal connections these include hijackings, vehicles being damaged, intimidation and robbery. One engineer was murdered in KwaMashu on 29 July 2014;

•Providing armed security guards is expensive and often guards are targeted;

•The areas have rapidly densified as thousands of people have migrated to these areas north of the City. 

Nxumalo said numerous solutions have been implemented to address these problems.

“Owing to the extent and nature of the problem, addressing these issues in these areas will take a considerable time and there is no ‘quick-fix’. Some improvements such as meter installation will be done once off but other interventions such as leak detection will have to be carried out repeatedly to stabilise the system,” he added.

Between 2007 and 2010,the Municipality spent close to R2 billion on the Asbestos Cement (AC) Pipe Replacement Project., which was part of the Municipality’s water management strategy aimed at repalicing ageing water pipes.

The Municipality urges residents to continue reporting water leaks, illegal water connections, vandalism or theft of Municipal infrastructure to the number 080 13 13 013, they can email: eservices@durban.gov.za or use the number 43554 to sms or fax 031 311 82 20.

ESTABLISHMENT OF DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PARKS ON THE CARDS

EThekwini Municipality wants to establish an appropriate facility to be used by driving schools to train learner drivers, conduct specialised training and refresher courses. 

The plan was tabled before the Municipality’s Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee yesterday, 02/06/2015 and is expected to be tabled before Council later this month for approval.

In the interim, EThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) will continue to engage with relevant stakeholders to establish a Driver Development Park. This forms part of City’s Road Safety Strategy. The driver development park will provide a “one-stop-shop” service for the development and assessment of drivers.

The plan entails establishing a number of well- resourced Driver Development in which driving schools can provide training to learner drivers. These parks will be used by driving schools to conduct their business, and would have classrooms for lectures, tracks for skills training, driving stimulators, waiting areas and on-going refresher courses for all public transport drivers in the City.

The two sites proposed by ETA are along the Warwick node and the other one is next to the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Edgewood Campus in Pinetown.

The budget for the project is not yet finalised, but R1.5 million was needed to develop a financial model and business plan.

The Head of ETA, Thami Manyathi said, “The City values the role of drivers and they are key for the success of the Road Safety Strategy. Inappropriate and aggressive driving behaviour exposes road users to the risk of accidents, together with the known drastic consequences. The parks will provide an enabling environment for good driving behaviour and promote a culture of professionalism”. 

Manyathi added that the Municipality will approach the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport and its Road Traffic Inspectorate, the National Department of Transport, and the Road Traffic Management Corporation to discuss the concept of Driver Development Parks because matters around licencing are a National and Provincial competency.

CITY CONCERNED ABOUT INCREASING NUMBER OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS BEING STOPPED

The City is concerned about the number of protests against on-going construction projects in different areas which hamper the Municipality’s service delivery programmes.

These actions often result in work stoppages on-site where the Municipality runs into a loss of millions of rands of tax payers’ money because of delays to the projects.

Head of Water and Sanitation, Ednick Msweli revealed before the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee that work stoppages are hindering progress especially in the Western Aqueduct project which was due to be complete by 2017.

“The disruption of work in various projects is mostly motivated by self-interest and people who demand employment to those projects”, said Msweli.

The Engineering Unit is one of the Units that is mostly affected by stoppages during construction of roads and other infrastructure.

The Municipality is appealing to community members to allow construction work to proceed in their respective areas so that service delivery can fast-tracked. 

Community members are encouraged to raise their concerns through appropriate channels without resorting to violence or stopping Municipal projects.

MILLIONS SET ASIDE FOR THREE-MEGA LITRE RESERVOIR IN WARD 59

A budget of R6.8 million has been set aside for the upgrade of a Three-Mega Litre Reservoir which will provide additional capacity to the current existing reservoir. 

The Municipality is currently developing a housing project in Ogunjini area, Ward 59 and the existing reservoir does not have the storage capacity to supply the additional demand from the development.

The project is in line with the Municipality’s service delivery mandate of ensuring that all residents in the City have access to clean water.

WATER PIPELINE TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN WARD 95 AND 96 TO CATER FOR INCREASED DEMAND

A 400 millimetres diameter pipeline stretching over 4.1 kilometer will be constructed between Adams Mission 5 and Adams Mission 6 reservoirs to cater for the increased water supply demand in the area.

The spike in the water supply demand is as a result of the implementation of rural water and sanitation projects, the overall development of the area as well as an increased number of houses that are much bigger in size and therefore require full pressure connections from the water network.

The Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee also approved the construction of a water pipeline that will assist the existing pipeline in Ward 2 and Ward 8 to supply sufficient water to the community of Maphephetheni.

ENDS 

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email:gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za