Monument to honour KZN families displaced in 1989 to build Dam

Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Minister Senzo Mchunu is expected to lead a traditional cleansing ceremony and unveil a monument of remembrance for families and graves that were relocated from the uMngeni riverbanks for the construction of the Inanda Dam in eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal.

The department said the cleansing ceremony will take place at Inanda Dam, kwaMsinsi on Monday. It seeks to appease the families of Qadi, eMaphephetheni, KwaNgcolosi. Also the KwaQiniselani-Manyuswa Traditional Authorities. These families were relocated to allow space for the reconstruction of Inanda Dam.

Families, some graves were relocated

Before the construction of the dam in 1989, the families from four traditional authorities lived along the riverbanks of uMngeni flowing from Nottingham Road. There they also buried their deceased traditionally in the kraals, from generation to generation.

In 1987, the families were relocated to various areas. Around 800 graves were exhumed, and reburials conducted at various gravesites in the province. The majority of the remains were reburied at the Ntuzuma gravesite, while some of the graves were unaccounted for.

“Over the years, representatives of the four traditional authorities and the families have been engaging with the DWS. They… had concerns that during the impounding of the dam, traditional rites were never observed or performed. These would have been performed to inform and appease the departed that they were being relocated from their ancestral home,” the department said.

Traditional rites and monument to appease the departed

DWS and its KZN water entity, the uMngeni-uThukela Water Board, its subsidiary, Msinsi Holdings, will host the ceremony. The traditional cleansing ceremony will be followed by the erection of a monument to provide closure to the affected families. Mnisi Holdings is responsible for the Inanda Dam water resource infrastructure.

“This is in accordance with the legislations and policies that guide on the management of issues relating to land development by government. They include relocations and compensations for those affected by the process,” the department said.

During the ceremony, Mchunu will be accompanied by the leadership of the provincial and local government. Also representatives of the four traditional authorities, the uMngeni-uThukela Water Board and Msinsi Holdings.


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