National Assembly Debate on the 2011 State of the Nation Address
Response by Rev Musa Zondi MP

National Assembly: 16 February 2011 

Honourable Speaker:

One of the issues which His Excellency, President Zuma raised during the State of the Nation address was that steady progress has been made in that more than 400 000 additional people were served with basic water supply last year.

While we approved this as a step in the right direction and while we agree that the legacy of colonial and apartheid underdevelopment cannot be completely eradicated over 17 years of our freedom, we hope that the R2.6billion which has been set aside to supply the provinces of Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape where there are still high numbers of people without drinking water, will also extend to the people of UMkhanyakude District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

Last year I raised the plight of the people of this District as the most critical in that while this District has one of the largest dams in the country, the people of this District, up to now, cannot access water from the Jozini dam and yet the people of the Zululand District are able to access water from the same Jozini Dam.

Much has also been said about the agricultural potential of the Makhathini Flats area, which lies just below the Jozini Dam, and yet the emerging farmers of the area cannot utilize the water from the same Dam for irrigation purposes because it is alleged, among other reasons, that one politically well-connected commercial farmer has been given sole rights to the raw water from this Dam to irrigate his sugar-cane plantations which stretch from the vicinity of the Dam right up to Uphongolo.

For the record, the Umkhanyakude District Municipality has made application after application, year after year, to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and to the local Water Boards, without success.  Recently, even the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal was confronted with the problem of non-availability of water which negatively affects even the town of Mtubatuba and the KwaMsane Township.

I pointed out last year that it seems that the people of this area are punished for not voting for the ANC and the reality of the President's recent warning during his rally in Mthatha that voting for the opposition parties is a ticket to hell, has come to pass for the people of the UMkhanyakude District.

The other issue which I want to raise is that of the urgent need to attend to the parlous state of roads, particularly in the rural areas of our country. 

It appears, Mr President, that it is not so much the lack of resources to repair these roads to a passable and all-weather level, as to the failure of the system of government across all spheres to maintain them. 

We hope that one of the priority areas which has been identified of infrastructure development, will particular attention to the urgent need of not only attending to pot-holes in surfaced roads, but to the proper maintenance of rural roads so that the democratic dividends can be enjoyed by voters who live in the rural areas of our country.

Reverend Musa Zondi MP,
IFP Secretary-General and National Spokesperson
on 083 440 5966