Waterworks undermine water drive - DA

2012-03-27 16:24

Cape Town - The government's drive to ensure all South Africans have access to a reliable water supply by 2014 could be undermined by failing old municipal treatment plants, the DA warned on Tuesday.

The problem lay with "weak" municipalities, which often did not fully use available funds, Democratic Alliance water affairs spokesperson Marti Wenger said.

Commending Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa for her focus on ageing water infrastructure, Wenger noted that her department was not responsible for maintaining it in municipalities where the problem was most acute.

"This is the responsibility of the relevant water service authority, which is usually the local municipality or district municipality.

Integrity of water supply

"Weak municipalities, which often do not fully use available funds, need special attention from both the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs and the department of water in order to ensure the integrity of water supply," she said.

The number of South Africans without access to an "acceptable level" of water infrastructure had dropped to 2.84 million.

Wenger welcomed Molewa's announcement earlier this month that she planned to enlist private companies to build, maintain and operate infrastructure, particularly waste water treatment works.

"The DA welcomes government's commitment to seek new solutions. We trust the minister will announce more details of her plans when she delivers her budget speech in Parliament in May."

On achieving 100% access to reliable water by 2014, Wenger said this would probably not be achievable in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, and the Eastern Cape, where the backlogs were 1.3 million, 540 000, and 420 000 people respectively.

  • Judith - 2012-03-27 16:37

    The water works - both for sewage treatment and for producing potable water - are dysfunctional in so many municipalities that it is beyond a joke. Engineers who can operate and maintain them are scarce, never mind the artisans. Their refurbishment means jobs and skills creation, yet the opportunities are ignored

  • Mark - 2012-03-27 16:44

    Yes, so many administered State functions are manned by incompetent ANC party-loyalists. Citizens pay and Government gives no value, other to themselves.

  • Shirley - 2012-03-27 16:44

    The problem is not only underspending but employing inept staff who lie around the pavements half the day instead of actually working,along with the fact that there are not enough people with the correct skills to work on the ageing systems! Not enough management who actually know what they are doing!

  • Adam - 2012-03-27 17:20

    Private contractors= tenders=corruption= failure=anc

      Adam - 2012-03-27 17:47

      This is really shameful that so many south africans have no water. The waterless people could form a queue from Beit Bridge to Cape Town, and the saddest thing is they are probably anc voters.

      Rob - 2012-03-27 17:57

      You could simplify those variables into x + anc = corruption

  • braamc - 2012-03-27 17:51

    You get what you vote for, klaar

  • Scouter - 2012-03-27 20:05

    'The problem lay with "weak" municipalities, which often did not fully use available funds,.....' I don't think this statement is correct - they diligently use up all available funds, what they do with them is more the issue and I think we can all come up with answer to that one.

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