Wa­ter pipes worth mil­lions are al­legedly dumped in the bush

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Muzi Zin­c­ume

STEEL wa­ter pipes to the value of R73-mil­lion are gather­ing dust in the bush at Ophande area out­side Jozini.

The pipes were ex­am­ined by the DA KZN leader, Zwakele Mncwango on Wednes­day dur­ing his over­sight visit to uMkhanyakude.

They were bought by uMkhanyakude Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in 2012 for wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment projects.

‘It’s un­be­liev­able that peo­ple liv­ing in uMkhanyakude Dis­trict have no wa­ter but there’s Jozini Dam close by.

‘In 2012, uMkhanyakude spent about R73-mil­lion to buy steel pipes for wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, and the pipes have been lay­ing in the bush for seven years,’ said Mncwango.

UMkhanyakude Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager, Mdu Dlamini said in 2011 the cur­rent coun­cil led by Mayor Cllr Vi­lane de­cided to use the bal­ance of fund­ing to buy steel wa­ter pipes to pre­vent the bal­ance of wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment fund­ing from be­ing for­feited to na­tional trea­sury.

‘The tech­ni­cal task team looked at their long term plan and rec­om­mended that in­fra­struc­ture pipes should be bought while wait­ing for the wa­ter li­cence ap­pli­ca­tion to be ap­proved.

‘This was done to al­low the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to adopt dras­tic cost sav­ing mea­sure by fix­ing the price of the steel pipes at the ex­ist­ing cost, thereby sav­ing mil­lions of rands in the fluc­tu­at­ing steel price in­dus­try, which is dic­tated in­ter­na­tion­ally.

‘It was also done to fast track in­fra­struc­ture de­liv­ery so that when the mu­nic­i­pal­ity even­tu­ally got its wa­ter li­cence, it would not have to go into the queue and wait for sup­ply of the pipes.

‘The ben­e­fit of this pipe pur­chase has al­ready been seen in the Jozini-Mbazwana Bulk Wa­ter Project. This mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture project which falls within the Pres­i­den­tial No­dal has al­ready used these pipes in its con­struc­tion,’ said Dlamini.

Dlamini fur­ther ex­plained that the same pipes Mncwango is com­plain­ing about are cur­rently used in wa­ter projects such as at UBombo, Mukun­y­oni and Jozini.

‘These are new wa­ter projects and also these steel pipes are in­vest­ments that don’t ex­pire. It is not true that we have aban­doned them, as Mncwango claims,’ said Dlamini.

The DA KZN leader, Zwakele Mncwango ac­cused uMkhanyakude Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity for dump­ing ex­pen­sive steel wa­ter pipes

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