Durban – An intervention by Zulu King, Misuzulu KaZwelithini, has secured funding for water projects that are set to benefit the semi-arid Zululand and Umkhanyakude district municipalities in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
A few months ago King Misuzulu hosted Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu at KwaKhangelamankengane Palace, where they discussed several developmental issues.
Among them was the provision of water in the Zululand district which has been battling a water crisis for years.
The meeting came shortly after King Misuzulu had raised concerns during a breakfast meeting in Richards Bay that despite being home to the Jozini Dam, the people of uMkhanyakude district were without water.
In a letter seen by IOL and sent by Mchunu’s department to the Zululand District Municipality, it was confirmed that funding for water schemes had been allocated.
NEWS: Following a meeting between King Misuzulu KaZwelithini & water minister, Senzo Mchunu, a sum of R235 million has been allocated to the Zululand district municipality for water relief efforts. Mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi said the funding was greatly needed. @IOL pic.twitter.com/v0hHZTy6PX
— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) November 29, 2022
“The Department of Water and Sanitation, has built Mandakazi Bulk Water Supply project over the years to supply water to Zululand District Municipality and later uMkhanyakude District Municipality.
“As part of upgrading the scheme, the municipality has submitted request for additional funding for phase 5 and 6, which came to the estimated value of R2.3 billion.
“The municipality was requested to advise the department if procurement of service providers and contractors was done in line with the provision of SCM, the municipality confirm that SCM was done properly following all SCM processes.
“Given that for the financial year 2022/23 only R15 million was allocated to the project, in view of the discussions between the minister and His Majesty, and subsequent to the discussions which took place amongst ourselves, that implementation of phase 5 and 6 should be fast tracked.
“Since no funding has been made available for this project in this current financial year, the department intends to readjust its budget to accommodate the phase 5 and 6 of this important project.
“The confirmed funding will be R235 million.
“The adjustment will be finalised early January 2023 and funding will be allocated to the project, given that such adjustment should be gazetted by National Treasury as well since the allocation will be under schedule 5b or direct transfers,” reads the letter sent to the district municipality.
The mayor of Zululand District Municipality, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, applauded Mchunu for allocating the funds.
At a council meeting on Tuesday, Buthelezi expressed his gratitude to Mchunu as this was a huge boost for rural infrastructure and water provision in Zululand.
“We (also) express our utmost appreciation to His Majesty for continuing to champion rural development as this funding will not only assist Zululand District but also uMkhanyakude District Municipality,” Buthelezi said.