Water and electricity remains a major challenge for the communities of uMzinyathi
9 Nov 2011The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has urged the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and uMzinyathi District Municipality to give the priority needs of the local people particular attention.
This follows numerous complaints from community members during the public hearings and site visits on the second day of the Taking Parliament to the People programme in Nquthu.
Members of the NCOP have learnt with shock of the continued severe water challenges, infrastructural backlog, unemployment and high crime rate which involves rape. Following the research and several oversight visits by the Members of NCOP in uMzinyathi area in August and October this year, the parliamentarians have commended the Provincial Department of Social Development for their swift plans to address the high rate of unemployment.
Briefing the delegation on the progress of his department in addressing the identified challenges during the oversight visits and research conducted in August 2011, the Provincial Social Development MEC, Meshack Radebe, said his department has taken a resolution to stop outsourcing services from external service providers from rendering any service including office cleaning.
Radebe said they decided not to continue with the service provider in order to appoint local residents as part of the strategy to address massive unemployment.
However, he acknowledged that water and electricity remains a major challenge for the communities of uMzinyathi and the surrounding settlements and pleaded with the Members of the NCOP to intervene and put pressure on the national government, especially the departments of Water and Environmental Affairs, Energy and Public Works to pay attention to serious water and electricity challenges.
“There are lots of illegal electricity connections around this region because people have been patiently waiting for years for Eskom to put electricity in the homes without any success”. Radebe made this plea during the official renaming and announcement of R6 million renovation budgets for Princess Mkabayi Child and Youth Care Centre in Nquthu.
NCOP Deputy Chairperson, Thandi Memela, said the NCOP will communicate with the relevant national departments and state-owned entities such as Eskom to attend to all challenges raised and follow-ups will be made to ensure the positive impact of the programme.
“My department spends more than R68 million on private security services alone per annum, and we have decided that we will not renew their contracts upon expiry and appoint local residents since more money goes to individuals”, Radebe said.
He told the delegates that according to their plans more than 9 000 jobs will be created by the year 2011. He said this during the site visit to Princess Mkabayi Children’s Home. The department has been spending about R8 million on security services annually and soon they will also replace them with local residents.
Other projects launched today included the R20 million Hlazakazi Water project that will benefit kwaNyezi Village that had no clean source of water. At the launch of the project King Zitha Zondi, who presides over kwaNyezi Village, expressed his gratitude for such a much needed service. “Water is such a scarce commodity here. We thank the district municipality for alleviating our plight. We are more than grateful about it.”
A R2 million Sod Turning Project in Mtshongweni and the launch of Nquthu Sewer also formed part of the site visits.
Tomorrow the national Department of Sports and Recreation and the Department of Women, Children and People with Disability together with the provincial and local authorities will be at the centre stage briefing the public about their progress in addressing the social development, educational and recreational challenges.
These public hearings will run parallel to several visits to schools, healthcare centres and agriculture around the area.
Media wishing to attend should forward their details for accreditation to Nolizwi Magwagwa at email@example.com or on 083 313 1323. Details required are: Full name, ID/passport number, name of media organisation and media group, designation (writer, photographer, for example), telephone number, and cell phone number.
Issued by: Parliament of South Africa
9 Nov 2011
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