eThekwini metro needs R130bn to resolve water crisis, Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda tells Mashatile

Deputy president Paul Mashatile. (Mlungisi Louw/Gallo Images/Volksblad)

Deputy president Paul Mashatile. (Mlungisi Louw/Gallo Images/Volksblad)

  • Deputy President Paul Mashatile, appointed to lead a water task team, conducted site visits in eThekwini on Friday.
  • Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda told him the City needed R130 billion to resolve the situation.
  • The water crisis has seen intermittent water outages in several parts of the city.

eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda told Deputy President Paul Mashatile, who was appointed to head a water task team, that the City would need R130 billion to resolve the water crisis in the metro, despite his claim that the crisis only affects 10% of households in the city.

After intermittent water outages in several parts of the eThekwini metro, residents resorted to protesting.

Speaking at the northern wastewater treatment works in Springfield Park, Mashatile said the team would ensure that the water challenges did not reach crisis levels.

He added: 

They (Kaunda and City officials) have just given me a briefing that a lot of work is happening. They’ve got a good plan. There’s only 10% of challenges that they are dealing with. But there is a plan that they have to ensure that we don’t get to a crisis.

He added that they were “fixing the 10%”.

“People will protest, but it’s not like we have 90% problems,” he added.

Mashatile assured eThekwini metro residents that the water situation was under control and that they needn’t lose any sleep over it.

Echoing Mashatile, Kaunda said the municipality had spent R500 million on the Springfield Park plant to eradicate the water crisis. 

“The reason why we are targeting it [the Springfield Park plant for upgrades] is because it has been giving us more challenges when it comes to contaminating our streams on the river [and] our beaches,” he added.

At one point, the plant’s compliance status was 6%, he said.

However, he added: “This is now at 65%.”

“So, it shows that the upgrading is being conducted and they are also putting some aspect of work to ensure that there is nothing lacking here,” Kaunda said. 

“This is not only the plant that we are upgrading; we are also upgrading Hammarsdale, Phoenix, and the Lange farm station, which has been attracting more challenges when it comes to contamination of our river than the beach.”

He pointed out that only 10% of the estimated 500 000 households in the eThekwini metro were affected by the water situation.

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However, he told Mashatile that as much as eThekwini metro officials and politicians were on the ground doing their work, “we still require more funds to be able to deal with the actual challenges that are facing the city”.

“That is amounting around R130 billion – just to be certain that we are able to upgrade our infrastructure to work in a manner that is envisaged.”

Mashatile said he would also meet Rand Water in Gauteng over the water challenges.

“We will also make sure in Gauteng … that we don’t go into a crisis,” he said.

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