According to all indications, parts of Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal are starting to collapse with outdated infrastructure giving more and more the ghost. In addition, there is seemingly no end in sight to the town’s water problems.
KwaZulu-Natal’s permanent representatives in the National Council of Provinces (NRP) also expressed their extreme frustration at the lack of progress to tackle the legion of problems in the area.
Enoch Mthethwa, chief whip of the delegates, says that this week together with their counterparts at the provincial legislature, they followed up on the state of affairs in the Ugu district municipality, after parliament also visited the area in November last year.
Among other things, the delegation visited the Port Shepstone police station because this station was singled out last year as having “rotting and crumbling” infrastructure in need of renovation. Since then, not much has been done to improve the situation, the committee found.
The station commander told the delegation that no plans had yet been put in place to assist the station in only transporting detainees to the Durban Westville Prison.
The Ugu District Municipality also briefed the delegation on the water and sanitation projects and service delivery challenges facing the area.
“The delegation is concerned about the slow progress in dealing with water problems and the fact that the municipality has paid exorbitant prices for the sinking of boreholes that do not deliver water,” says Mthethwa.
According to the provincial department of cooperative government and traditional affairs, Senzo Mchunu, minister of water and sanitation, on his last visit promised an additional R150 million to the district municipality so that renovation projects can be launched.
Earlier this year, a report was made on how the money was used, but Mthethwa says months later little progress has been made.
“We are dissatisfied because no time frame has yet been set for the implementation of the renovation projects,” he says.
The municipality says deliberations on the projects will continue, while officials are scrambling to deal with only minor water problems, such as burst pipes, in the area.