National Assembly: 16 February 2011
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
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
on 083 440 5966