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DA Chief Whip opposes proposed tariffs for Umkomaas dam project

Neelam Rahim |

3-minute read
29 February 2024 | 08:09 CAT

DA Msunduzi opposes proposed tariffs for Umkomaas Dam project. Image/DA

The DA in Msunduzi vehemently opposes the proposed tariffs imposed on residents, which will go towards constructing the Umkomaas dam. The National Water Department has revealed that the dam, built on the border of Msunduzi, will not benefit residents but will supply water to the municipalities of eThekwini, Ilembe, and Ugu.

Cllr Bongumusa Nhlabathi, Chief Whip of DA in Msunduzi, discussed the party’s strong opposition to proposed tariffs for the Umkomaas Dam project with Radio Islam International. The National Water Department’s plan to impose these tariffs, despite the dam not benefiting Msunduzi residents, has sparked controversy in the region.

While not opposed to its construction, Cllr Nhlabathi says, “The DA does support the project in principle to give more water to eThikwini, Ilembe and Ugu Municipality. However, we differ with the funding model that is been used by the government.”

According to the department, it would foot half the bill while Msunduzi, eThekwini, Ilembe and Ugu will pay for the remaining half of the project. It is simply unfair for Msunduzi residents to have to pay tariffs towards the dam when they are not benefitting from its supply.

“The result of this is that, as of the 1st July 2024 Msunduzi ratepayers will have an added item on their water bill. It is simply unfair to expect Msunduzi residents to sponsor an 8-year project that landed on them,” the DA stated.

The proposed tariffs are R2.39 per household, accumulating high amounts due to the large scope of households and progressively increasing over the years.

“Even though it may sound little, it is not fair that one resident has to commit to water that they will not be receiving at all,” added Cllr Nhlabathi.

The DA Caucus in Msunduzi will engage and mobilise the local community groups and residents to give written submissions opposing tariffs for the dam.

Meanwhile, the residents of Msunduzi will not benefit from the water dam within its boundaries. Still, there are related benefits that the residents of Msunduzi will gain from the dam’s construction.

Listen to the full interview on The Daily Round-Up with Moulana Junaid Kharsany.


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