Service delivery in eThekwini has fallen flat, councilor says, while residents vent over frequent water outages
Residents of Ward 97 in eThekwini Municipality in Kwa-Zulu Natal say they’ve had enough of deteriorating service delivery in the area.
A local resident, Ruth Majola, was speaking to Inayet Wadee on Salaamedia’s flagship News & Views show when she highlighted at least four concerning service delivery related issues, the most significant one being frequent water outages as a result of aging infrastructure. “We can go for hours without water at least once or twice a month,” she said.
At the time Majola was on air, Illovo Beach residents had been without water for more than 16 hours. “We haven’t had water since 17h30 yesterday afternoon. No water tanks have been sent and we are currently going through a pandemic where we need to wash our hands when we come back from going out or need to shower after a long day of work.”
Majola added that the community, located roughly 40 kilometers south of the city of Durban, also faced sewage leaks in some parts of the area as well as dysfunctional street lights and overgrown verges.
Another resident, Amanda Gouws, also complained of poor service from eThekwini Municipality. She said: “The turnaround time after a fault is reported is poor. Residents are getting frustrated because its an ongoing problem. We need answers and a plan of action.”
Ward councillor Andre Beetge said the problem lies within eThekwini Municipality with an apparent inability to deliver services efficiently. Explaining the situation, he painted a picture of chaos.
“You send someone to check the electricity – it was probably not fixed the first time – and two hours later, nobody has been dispatched. Then, the one starts pointing a finger at the other and two hours later they send somebody and that person only reports back another hour later. Service delivery in the municipality has fallen on its face. Nothing gets done and there’s no preparation. Everything is in crisis management.”
Beetge also cited financial challenges within the Municipality, citing that the budget has had to be reorganised as the city deals with the coronavirus pandemic and a decline in rates collection. He urged residents to pay their rates.
“The city is strapped for cash,” he said “People are not paying [rates]. People should start paying because that enhances service delivery.”
In April 2020, the city reported a collection rate of 56% for that month. However, Beetge noted that the collection rate has since increased to around 80%.
Listen to the interview below: