Sihle Zikalala explains why a water tanker was outside his home

Following claims that he had received his own municipal water tanker outside his home as alleged in a viral video, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has rubbished these claims. 

Speaking during a media briefing on Sunday held to provide updates regarding the KZN floods, relief efforts and mop-up operations, Zikalala addressed the video posted on TikTok and Twitter showing a water tanker stationed outside his home. 

“May I further take this opportunity to clarify one issue,” began the Premier.

“I have seen in the media, in the social media that here is a clip, a video clip that is going viral with someone saying that he is by my house and that there are people who are putting water into my homestead. I think that I must clarify that upfront.”

“I called the metro to distribute water,” Zikalala added.

He explained that the tanker made its way close to his home after servicing the area it was called to and his wife had made her way to the tanker to fetch water.

He interjected by stating that he felt the need to explain the situation as “these things are meant to distract us.”

“What the family, led by my wife is doing in cooking and providing food to the people staying in that hall and that clip has not surfaced. The man is only showing this clip where we called the water tanker to provide water and after water was provided to the whole community we poured water at home. Then for him, that is what was the story than to do work…”

These allegations against Zikalala come amidst interrupted water supply to mst parts of the province as a result of infrastructure damage caused by flooding.

During most briefings over last few days, the Premier has sought to provide updates regarding governments efforts to reconnect supply in certain areas while providing tankers in areas the government has not yet been able to service. 

An update on KZN water restorations

“A number of areas experienced water disruptions.  A war room has been established comprising Ethekwini, Umgeni Water, Department of Water and Sanitation, Human Settlements and Roads and a plan to restore services is being implemented,” explained Zikalala during the briefing.

He listed the follow developments as “achievements” on water supply by government to date:

  • Bulk Water Supply, 96% (520 Megalitres) of Durban Heights production capacity will be fully restored by 24 April 2022. 
  • 140 Megalitres per day will be recovered.  This will cover (Northern region of Durban –  areas such as Kwa-Mashu, Ntuzuma, Newlands, Durban North, Umhlanga, Phoenix and Inanda etc.)
  • Distribution Network and pump station need to be refurbished to restore capacity. A contractor through emergency procurement will be appointed by 22 April 2022. This will help us to recover and supply 100 Megalitres of water in the Southern Basin covering (Southern Durban, Umlazi, Adams and Umbumbulu etc.)
  • Bulk Water Supply, Hazelmere dam water quality has been affected by the floods. This impact capacity of Water Treatment Works. Identified affected areas will be supplied through water tankers in the interim.
  • The Operation and Maintenance teams from the City of Ethekwini have been isolating the major leaks and bursts in order to conserve available water. A large portion of Umhlanga has been affected by this process of conserving water. Once the leak has been addressed, water supply will be restored.  We are using technology (satellite leak detection.
  • We are currently providing emergency supply of water.  We have 179 in operation currently and working according to shifts.

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In Ugu District,  the following areas have been fully restored with isolated cases of airlocks and low pressure: Marburg, Margate ext3, Ramsgate North, Ramsgate South, Sea Park, Sunwhich Port, Shelly Beach, Mkholombe, Nositha, Melville.

The following   areas  are also beginning to get water though lower pressure in certain streets: Oslo, Gamalakhe, Umtentweni, Port Shepstone, Albersville, Protea Park, Wavell Ave. part of Margate. 

The areas that were not yet restored at the time of the briefing were; Murchison, Pumula, Woodgrange, Hibberdene, Anerley, Margate CBD, Manaba, Margate ext 2 and Uvongo. 

“We have challenges due to the inaccessibility of the roads.  This is resulting in challenges to deliver water in many areas as roads are muddy and make it difficult to navigate on the hilly terrains of Ilembe. This is affecting communities and schools. More water tankers are required to cover areas such as KwaDukuza, Ndwedwe and Maphumulo Municipalities,” explained Zikalala.

Compiled by Kaunda Selisho

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