Government works to restore water in Umkhanyakude

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has called on community members in KwaHlabisa, in Umkhanyakude District Municipality, to work together with local government and water entities when water infrastructure projects are rolled out.

Mchunu made the call during the community engagements held at Mkhaliphi Stadium in eNhlwathi village and Iholo la Makhosi in Hlabisa.

Mchunu and his two Deputy Ministers, David Mahlobo and Judith Tshabalala, are currently on a two-day visit to two of the four municipalities in the district — including the Big Five Hlabisa and Mtubatuba Local Municipalities — to assess progress in the refurbishment and upgrading of water schemes in order to restore, augment and expand water supply to communities that have been experiencing water challenges in the district.

Addressing communities on the first day of the visit on Thursday, Mchunu assured communities that government is working in earnest to restore water supply to the municipality.

Mchunu said the communities of eDengeni, Mkhaliphi, Nhlwathi and Matshamhlophe in Hlabisa will benefit from interlinked potable water schemes, which will be connected to the trans-boundary Mandlakazi Regional Bulk Water Scheme – once it is completed.

“Once the Mandlakazi scheme pipeline, which is dedicated to supplying Hlabisa, is complete and the current Mandlakazi Water Treatment Works has been expanded, it will connect two areas — Mthwadlana (to Matshamhlophe reservoir and Myaneni (Hlabisa reservoir) reservoirs. This will ensure sustainable and continuous water supply to these communities.

“In the meantime, together with the District Municipality, we are working hard to ensure that some of the existing pipes and valves are fixed and upgraded here in Nhlwathi, Mkhaliphi and Matshamhlophe. Through this process, some of the communities have started receiving water,” Mchunu said.

Mchunu and his Deputy Ministers were joined by traditional leaders from the area — Inkosi Mdletshe, Inkosi Gumede, uMkhanyakude District Mayor, Sphile Mdaka, Hlabisa Local Municipality Mayor, C Khumalo, District and Local Municipal Exco, Mhlathuze Water, and the departmental officials.

In February 2022, the Department of Water and Sanitation placed Umkhanyakude District Municipality under Section 63 of the Water Services Act, which provides for the Minister to take over the management, operations and maintenance of the water and sanitation infrastructure from the Water Services Authority (WSA), in order to restore dysfunctional services.

Following the resolution, the Minister appointed Mhlathuze Water as an implementing agent of the directive in order to restore water services through various work packages and schemes that are implemented as part of the intervention in the district.

Among the water supply schemes intended to bring relief to the communities are the Hlabisa Water Supply Scheme, which covers the Hlabisa Local Municipality area. The scheme is supplied with potable water from Mandlakazi Water Treatment Works, which is located in the Zululand District, and it abstracts Water from Jozini Dam (Pongolopoort Dam).

The water treatment is currently undergoing optimisation refurbishment and upgrades to increase its capacity of treating 30 megalitres a day to 60 megalitres per day.

Mchunu urged the community to exercise patience as the department and other stakeholders work around the clock to ensure that various water schemes are fully functional, and assured that some of these schemes only required upgrade of existing pumps and valves in order to increase the volume of water that is being abstracted.

“Through togetherness and collective commitment by the various stakeholders, potable water will be supplied to the communities for domestic use and enhancement of economic growth in the area

Source: South African Government News Agency

Recent Posts