Monument of remembrance for KZN families

Friday, May 17, 2024

Water and Sanitation 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, which will take place at Inanda Dam, kwaMsinsi on Monday, seeks to appease the families of Qadi, eMaphephetheni, KwaNgcolosi and KwaQiniselani-Manyuswa Traditional Authorities whose families were relocated to allow space for the reconstruction of Inanda Dam.

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

In 1987, the families were relocated to various areas, and 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 over concerns that during the impounding of the dam, traditional rites were never observed or performed to inform and appease the departed that they were being relocated from their ancestral home to be reinterred somewhere else,” the department said.

The Department of Water and Sanitation and its KZN water entity, the uMngeni-uThukela Water Board, together with its subsidiary, Msinsi Holdings, which is responsible for the Inanda Dam water resource infrastructure, will host the traditional cleansing ceremony and erect a monument to provide closure to the affected families.

“This is in accordance with the legislations and policies that guide on the management of issues relating to land development by government, including 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, representatives of the four traditional authorities, the uMngeni-uThukela Water Board and Msinsi Holdings. –