KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has handed over six water tankers and four vehicles valued at approximately R12 million to the Ugu District Municipality Disaster Centre, to ensure that the community has access to water.
Zikalala handed over the water tankers after delivering the Women’s Day message at uMkhoba Hall in uMuziwabantu Local Municipality on Monday, where he inspected eight water tankers and several municipal vehicles from Ugu District Fleet Market. The tankers were burnt during the recent unrest, which gripped the province and caused damage.
Rioters also burnt the offices and cold storage of the disaster centre.
The six water tankers were bought by the Ugu District Municipality to replace those that were torched during the widespread protests.
Zikalala strongly condemned the burning of property and infrastructure.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the burning of eight trucks and 14 vans, and a number of other vehicles as well as the buildings. It is wrong [and] it is not justifiable.
“Even if you are aggrieved by anything, you can’t just burn such structures which [are] very crucial and needed by the people of the district. We are going to ensure that all of these cases are followed and people who committed such things are brought to book and be prosecuted,” he said.
Zikalala commended the municipality for the work they are doing, noting that it is clear that if it wasn’t for the setback of unrest which resulted in the burning of the trucks, they would have been able to cover the whole municipality.
“This area has a serious challenge of water, [which] is not just a challenge, but a crisis. We approach the issue of water as a basic need of the people,” Zikalala said.
He also commended the municipality for insourcing the services, and ensuring that the maintenance is insource and conducted by the district council.
“We encourage all other municipalities to follow suit and to understand that basic services can’t be just outsourced permanently. We have to build our capacity as the government,” the Premier said