KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala has publicly apologised after a water tanker meant to supply water to the residents affected by the floods was seen parked at his home, leading to an uproar by community members who called the premier “a water looter”.
The province is battling severe shortages of water since the heavy rains started on Monday last week, resulting in devastating floods that have so far claimed the lives of about 450 people. Many others are still missing and government is estimating that billions of rands will be needed to repair the damaged infrastructure, including roads.
On Wednesday, Zikalala apologised to the provincial legislature. He repeated his apology to the people of KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday during an interview with SAFM.
“I was engaged by members of the La Mercy Residents Association and issued an apology that the water tanker went to my home and committed that it would never happen again,” he said during the interview.
However, he said the water tankers did not leave the residents stranded, insisting that the affected communities were still supplied with water during the day.
“The tanker will not park near my house anymore, I have given an instruction that it should park in the community hall where there are people whom we continue to serve, including providing them with meals on daily basis.”
Zikalala also shared that his family has also been affected by the floods, saying his wife and children had to collect water in buckets in the days after water supply interruptions.