with councillor Siyabulela Zangqa
Position: Chris Hani District Municipality engineering portfolio manager
Question: What does your work entail?
Answer: The engineering portfolio is about provision of basic services to the people we serve. In the case of CHDM, it is the provision of water and sanitation services. It is the core function of the institution.
Q: What are your goals for your appointed position?
A: It is to ensure that basic water services are reliably provided to all communities of CHDM, in both rural and urban areas. I would love to ensure close working ties with all stakeholders with regard to water and sanitation matters.
Q: Where would you say water and sanitation infrastructure is still lagging in South Africa?
A: It has to do with the past governance, where only a certain small portion of the society was prioritised. The current government now has the challenge of providing infrastructure in remote areas where there was none.
Q: Which country has the best water and sanitation infrastructure?
A: Generally, all first-world countries boast the best state of the art water and sanitation infrastructure.
Q: Would you say there is a shortage of engineers in this area?
A: There is a dire shortage of engineers and all technical skills. The whole society, including businesses, should get involved in transferring skills to our young people.
Q: November marks the 16 days of activism against violence in women and children campaign – what are your thoughts on this.
A: The message is clear, no man must assault women. No one must abuse children. It is illegal and all of us in the society should play an active role in protecting women and children.
Q: Your #FeesMustFall resolution would be?
A: We need constructive discussions on this without resorting to illegal activities like assault and vandalism. In the end, an amicable decision must be reached. If the national fiscus is sufficient, fees should fall. If there are insufficient financial resources, alternatives should be explored.
Q: What is your best childhood memory?
A: Too many to mention but I have to single out my school days. The school had no resources, not enough teachers but as pupils we pushed ourselves against the odds and managed to succeed.
Q: What is the best way to effect the change you want to see in South Africa?
A: I would love to be counted among the doers. We have enough thinkers but not many people actually roll up their sleeves and become part of doing the dirty work.
Q: What do you look forward to the most in these December holidays?
A: December is family time. I will be happy to reconnect with my family and to have an easier time after a challenging year. It will be special if we experience rain in abundance.