Take care of water - department

2012-05-17 14:40
Deputy water affairs minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi has urged communities to take responsibility for water resources. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Deputy water affairs minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi has urged communities to take responsibility for water resources. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The department of water affairs is determined to ensure that water resources are equitably used and that communities and officials work together to protect rivers and wetlands.

"A person sells a farm to somebody; you'll find that a person owns the farm, but you don't own the water. Some still have that water allocation, but they're not using the water," deputy minister of water affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, told News24.

Water allocations are a contentious issue in SA because it is a scarce resource and the agricultural sector currently consumes about 62%.

On Wednesday, Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, told Parliament that the government was pushing ahead with plans to create "water equity".

The department is considering limiting water entitlements that can currently be sold or traded.


"You are not occupying that land; that water must be transferred to someone who is able to use it," said Mabudafhasi.

She was speaking at the launch of a community project initiated by the department called "Adopt a River" where the Khayelitsha residents on the Cape Flats cleaned the Kuils River.

The project aimed to encourage communities to limit waste and pollution around sensitive water areas that would allow for sustainable development.

"Those ecosystems are the ones that are able to sustain this community and there are certain types of vegetables that they can grow along these wetlands," Mabudafhasi said.

She said that small farmers were finding the lack of water resources particularly challenging and the department was committed to assisting them.

"We have a challenge of our smaller farmers who are coming up now, whom we are supporting but they don't have water. They can get the water that is not being used. We need to bridge that gap."

Water abstraction remains a significant problem in SA and up to 30% to 40% of water is lost through this theft in some municipalities.

Mabudafhasi said the department was determined to tackle the problem.

"Our Blue Scorpions are there. When they do illegal connections, people down the river don't get water and you are stealing - you are a thief - you are a criminal. When we find them, we don't negotiate - we break all those connections. We [will] punish you for stealing our water."

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    edna molewa  |  rejoice mabudafhasi  |  cape town  |  agriculture  |  environment  |  water

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Ireland centre Payne out of RWC
Jones: Japan can be 'team of the tournament'
Tuilagi gets punishment cut
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is heightened...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.