SA a water-scarce country - Zuma

2014-11-01 06:45


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Johannesburg - South Africa is a water-scarce country with it being a problem in many communities, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"South Africa is rapidly growing into a water-scarce country, particularly due to broader changes which are caused by climate change and global warming," Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery in Giyani, Limpopo.

"As a result, many countries experience varying extremes such as floods and drought."

It was not only Limpopo that faced water problems. Other provinces also had water shortages.

"Where there is a shortage of water, sanitation is also poor and consequently health is affected," he said.

"Water is life. Without water, life is difficult."

Zuma, in the area as part of a presidential siyahlola monitoring visit, said water services had been established in 55 villages in the Mopani district, following complaints over a long period of time.

In other areas, the biggest problem was ageing infrastructure.

"As government, we have made various interventions to deal with this challenge in the country," Zuma said.

"We have, for example, expanded water infrastructure, such as building dams and refurbishing and improving old infrastructure to improve water supply."

De Hoop Dam had recently been opened in Limpopo, with new dams opened in other provinces as well.

"We are also increasing the municipal infrastructure grant to enable the municipalities to increase their scale of service delivery.

"We continue to focus on providing water throughout the country."

In the past five months, government had attended to water and sanitation problems in places such as Bloemhof, Ngobi, and the Ngaka Modiri Molema district in North West.

Other places included the Makana district municipality in the Eastern Cape, Hobhouse in the Free State, and Umkhanyakude district municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

"There is an acute shortage of water in the Mopani district area. The scale of dependence on boreholes illustrates the gravity of this challenge, even in the hospitals," Zuma said.

Water shortages

"Rural areas in this part of the country are suffering, particularly when you consider that almost half of the boreholes drilled are for one or other reason not working."

All five local municipalities in the Mopani district municipality had been experiencing serious water shortages.

"This is why we have mounted massive efforts to improve the provision of water in this area, among others through the Giyani water treatment works which are being refurbished," Zuma said.

"The scope of the Giyani water treatment works project includes the construction of an additional 6.7 megalitres per day capacity water treatment works."

It also included the refurbishment of the existing 30 megalitres treatment works to increase the supply to 36.7 megalitres per day.

The Giyani water treatment works was one of the 26 water treatment works which supplied the Mopani district.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  water

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