Premier says water is a fundamental human need

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The mayor of uMvoti, Petros Ngubane, yesterday called on the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government to help poverty-stricken people of his area, who are also ravaged by the HIV-Aids pandemic.

Speaking at Ngome in Umsinga, during the launch of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) outreach programme, Ngubane said the residents of Umsinga were dying every day.

"Most people in Muiden, Ntengisweni, Msinga and Matimatolo are poor and are affected by the pandemic."

He said unemployment was high and the youth were especially badly affected.

"Most of them don't have formal education. Even those with matric don't have skills and remain unemployable. The other problem is that some of them don't have IDs because they have to travel long distances to apply for them."

Meshack Hadebe, MEC for social welfare and population development, said his department would build a one-stop centre where people could apply for IDs, birth and death certificates, as well as access other government services.

"This facility is for the people of Umsinga. It is not just for IFP or ANC members, but for the community at large. Use it to its fullest and I can assure you your lives will change," said Hadebe.

He added that the centre would also be used as a payout point for pensions, which would reduce the number of deaths of elderly people while queuing for grants.

Shongani Sithole, a resident of Umsinga, said the community was grateful that they would be able to apply for IDs without having to travel to Greytown.

Premier S'bu Ndebele assured the community that by 2010 everybody in the province would have access to clean water.

"Water is a fundamental need for any human being and I want to assure you that by 2010 every household will have access to clean water.

"Two years later, every household will have access to electricity," he said.