eThekwini losing R40m to infrastructure vandals since July
A growing total of R40 million worth of infrastructural damages weighed heavily on the shoulders of the eThekwini Municipality. The revelation was made during a full council meeting this week by deputy mayor Philani Mavundla.
VANDALISM BREAKS THE BANK AND PUBLIC TRUST
The mountainous monetary tally was accrued between July 2021 and February 2022. Thirteen pump stations and 18 reservoirs had been vandalised; 15 sub-stations were vandalised, stripped, or burnt; about 120km of cables were stolen; 29 air valves were pilfered, 17 being reticulation lines and 12 being bulk lines.
eThekwini municipality further reported that 216 water meters were either vandalised or stolen and it would cost about R40 million to repair or replace the infrastructure.
Councillor Yogiswarie Govender, a Democratic Alliance executive committee member, says the municipality is facing a trust-breaking and operationally detrimental crisis in service delivery.
“It is as though the vandalism problem is continually worsening. While infrastructure is old and failing a considerable amount of infrastructure has been damaged by criminal acts. Sewage pump stations have been vandalised while street light poles and cables keep getting ransacked,”
Although Govender submitted pages of questions, not all were answered and Govender was determined to get answers.
The councillor has requested statistics from the eThekwini Water Services and whether or not there were any investigations into the crisis.
MAYOR ROPES IN STATE SECURITY AGENCY
During an executive committee meeting on 29 March, Mxolisi Kaunda shared the news that a distress call was sent to the State Security Agency (SSA). The hopes were that the agency could chase leads and apprehend culprits to bring an end to the plight.
According to IOL, eThekwini mayoral spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa says the move to include the SSA would mean high-level intelligence-driven operations could be conducted.
Mavundla mirrored the views of Kaunda and said vandalism incidents are sent directly to the SSA and not the police for investigation.
Opposition parties such as the DA, IFP and EFF within the municipality said the decision was a step in the right direction.
For the current financial year, there have been 65 arrests with 47 pending court cases.
READ MORE: EThekwini Municipality: Major water supply interruption on Thursday