Pretoria — The Department of Water and Sanitation has to date supported 17 municipalities in the Western Cape to enhance water security and improve water quality through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant programme.
This was highlighted during a meeting on Tuesday, where Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, attended the Minister and Mayors (MinMay) meeting of the Western Cape Province, in Worcester.
The meeting follows an invitation by Western Cape MEC of Local Government, Environment and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, with an aim to share with both provincial and local government the national government’s plans on water and sanitation as they relate to the province.
The meeting also aimed to identify solutions to the challenges facing the province.
The Western Cape is one of the provinces most affected by rapid urbanisation. Population growth figures in the province have had a direct impact on the ability of government to deliver water and sanitation services.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister Mokonyane informed the MEC and mayors that the department has recently completed a study on the bulk water and sanitation infrastructure needs for the province for the next 15 to 20 years.
In this regard, Minister Mokonyane said 1 641 bulk water and sewerage infrastructure projects have been identified and require the pooling of resources, both capacity and financial resources between all three spheres of government to ensure delivery.
“As the department we have identified three key priorities, namely, water resource management, solutions to service delivery challenges and the finalisation of a long-term master plan for South Africa on water and sanitation.
“Our engagements must direct us towards servicing un-serviced communities and maintaining our infrastructure adequately in serviced areas,” said Minister Mokonyane.
In order to ensure that we deliver to our people, the Minister added, we must pay close attention to the institutional capacity of municipalities to maintain the infrastructure we are developing to ensure security and quality of supply.
“Without that, we will not win in delivering quality and sustainable basic services to the people.”
The meeting also appreciated the importance of water and sanitation for economic growth and the need to increase cooperation in order to ensure impact through delivery to communities.
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