Zuma visit 'uproar'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A war of words has erupted between the ANC and IFP in the Umkhanyakude district over the much-anticipated visit by ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma is expected to visit the drought-stricken and impoverished IFP-led district on Friday October 31.

The planned visit has let loose a lot of mudslinging between the two parties.

The water crises that have been blamed on the IFP by the ANC has crippled the normal functioning of the municipality. Courts in the area have been forced to shut down.

"The IFP has failed dismally to provide people with a basic need - water. This is despite the district boasting the third largest dam (Jozini Dam) in the country," charged Jeffrey Vilane, the ANC's far-north regional chairman.

"The dam can supply two million people with water and the population here is only 554000. This is truly pathetic.

"Other municipalities in Zululand have been able to source water from the very same dam, while thousands of locals are battling."

But IFP district chairman Alfred Mpontshane challenged Vilane.

"A number of IFP leaders from Umkhanyakude have made several presentations to national government about the crippling water crises in the area but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears," Mpontshane said.

"I am sure Zuma will arrive with a speech filled with fresh promises of speedy service delivery and a better life for all.

"But I would like to remind voters that they have suffered at the hands of the provincial government."

Vilane defended Zuma's planned visit.

He said the visit was mainly about giving hope to the impoverished people of Umkhanyakude.