News

Large families crammed into a controversial temporary housing project in Durban have reacted with disbelief that their tiny 2m x 2m shacks cost R35 000 each, describing living conditions there as “inhumane”. Speaking to The Mercury at the weekend, several residents at the Kennedy Road informal settlement said the price tag on their homes was “a lie” and an insult. The city built the transit camp last year after hundreds of shacks were gutted in a fire that left...
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A damning forensic investigation has found that city officials fraudulently colluded with bidders who eventually spent about R35 000 per shoddy 2m x 2m room in a 700-unit temporary housing project. The price of the unit is roughly R10 000 less than what it would have cost the city to build a fully fledged low-cost house. It would have cost the city about R7 000 to buy a similar-sized wendy house and from R4 000 to R6 000 to buy a corrugated iron zozo hut.  The audit was commissioned after...
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Bulk water supplier Umgeni Water would implement restrictions in major parts of KwaZulu-Natal from next week. Umgeni spokesperson Shami Harichunder told News24 on Tuesday Umgeni Water, in conjunction with iLembe District Municipality, eThekwini Metro and Sembcorp had agreed to implement a 50% water restriction from November 23. Harichunder said restrictions at the 50% level generally meant between six and eight hours of no water per day, but reiterated implementing the bulk restriction was...
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The Western Cape government is set to ask its national counterparts to classify a provincial disaster because of the ongoing drought plaguing the region. The move comes as looming water shortages, low dam levels and predictions of a dry summer, threatens to cripple the agricultural sector in several municipalities. Authorities have been closely monitoring the situation across the province, and at least four municipalities have implemented water restrictions as precautionary measures. Local...
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The North West government this week suspended the chief financial officer of the province’s troubled Ditsobotla Local Municipality after revelations by City Press that he asked a service provider for a R150 000 bribe. Leeto Dintwe was suspended after last Sunday’s exposé, which also detailed an alleged attempt by eight ANC municipal councillors to solicit a R250 000 bribe from the same businessman, Fikile Bili, who recorded their meeting. The embarrassing case has also drawn...
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Even with KZN declared a drought disaster zone, millions of litres of water is being wasted locally every day through ruptures in aged water infrastructure. While almost a third of Msunduzi’s water goes down the drain, according to uMgungundlovu (UMDM) District Municipality spokesperson Mbali Mwandla, in the 2014/2015 financial year, during their annual audit, it was ­revealed that 46% of the district’s water supply was lost. This is equivalent to R32 million in revenue for the...
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With the country caught in the grip of a drought and conditions of extreme water scarcity, the Department of Water and Sanitation plans to build a R2bn pipeline from the Gariep Dam to the Mangaung Municipality in the Free State. Minister Nomvula Mokonyane made the announcement during a press briefing held by the inter-ministerial task team dealing with the water crisis in the country. She said studies had already been conducted. Mokonyane also mentioned other measures that her department was...
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Water tankers have been deployed to parts of Johannesburg, including two hospitals, after several water towers almost ran dry, Johannesburg Water said on Wednesday. Spokesperson Hilgard Matthews told News24 that tankers were deployed to the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital as well as the Helen Joseph Hospital. He said while the hospitals had their own water tanks on the premises, the tankers were sent to keep these topped up. One of the towers that had a problem was in Brixton. The...
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Claims of irregular spending to the tune of R200m have driven the troubled Madibeng local municipality into a fresh crisis in the wake of a probe by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), a source at the municipality said. Cogta tabled a report in August on allegations of maladministration related to the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG). “Cogta received allegations of maladministration from a whistleblower through the presidential hotline,” a...
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The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) on Friday suspended a consultation meeting with residents of Vuwani in Limpopo, citing security concerns. The residents are dissatisfied over government plans to place them under a different municipality. Earlier this year, Vuwani residents destroyed property, closed off entry to the township with burning tyres, and forced the closure of schools and businesses as they protested against a plan to incorporate them into the new municipality. According to draft...
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