Water pipes worth millions are allegedly dumped in the bush
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