I want to begin this column by apologising to residents of uMlazi for the interruption of water supply which has affected several areas including Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital. The interruption to supply is due to a burst on the 300mm diameter water pipe on the South Coast Bridge over the Umlaas Canal. Our teams have been on the ground undertaking the tracing and exposing of the burst. We have since located the burst and appropriate repairs are being undertaken.
The ANC government has declared 2023 as the year of decisive action to advance people’s interests. In this regard, we will be redoubling our efforts to deliver on the promise of a better life for all. The Municipality continues to work hard to repair road and water and sanitation infrastructure that was damaged during last year’s floods in April and May. We are pleased with the work that is being done to repair sewer pump stations and wastewater treatment plants which has led to more beaches being opened. Just like the work done in uMlazi and oThongathi, work is also underway to upgrade water infrastructure to improve water supply in various communities.
We have intervened in Hambanathi and Ntuzuma by installing water pumps in reservoirs that are supplying these communities with water. Earlier this month we commissioned Reservoir 3 at the Durban Heights Reservoir which has improved water supply in areas such as Phoenix and Verulam. On a positive note, residents of Hambanathi in oThongathi welcomed the news that the entire community will receive water. This comes after the second water pump at the oThongathi Water Treatment Plant was commissioned. This follows a restoration project that was completed in October last year. After the completion of this project, technical problems were experienced in the Hambanathi area. As a result, they were not getting enough flow as the demand increased.
To address this challenge, the Municipality installed a second pump to run parallel with the one completed in October. We are encouraged that there are now two pumps running parallel in Hambanathi and the flow has improved. We are committed to addressing challenges that impede a steady water supply. I have made it a priority on my calendar to unlock infrastructural challenges in communities experiencing water shortages. These include Ngonyameni, Zwelibomvu, Umzinyathi, uMlazi, and Folweni.
We also kicked off the Backto-School campaign on 6 February which saw learners from disadvantaged backgrounds receiving school uniforms. Over 400 learners from various schools in eThekwini will benefit from the campaign this year. I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the newly elected Deputy Mayor Councillor Zandile Myeni and new Chief Whip of Council Councillor Patience Sishange. Their election to the Executive will not only add the number of women in the highest committee of political office bearers but will serve as a catalyst to fast-track service delivery in eThekwini.