The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is embarking on an operation to test water in Senekal on 12 to 15 April 2016. Water tankers that supply the community with water, sponsored by the department, will be tested for any hazardous substance or bacteria.
DWS has enlisted the assistance of the University of the Free State (UFS) to test and clean the tanks used to supply water to communities of Senekal. Taking into consideration the health of the community and prioritizing it, DWS will test water from the source where the water tankers are filled and the tankers themselves as well as the nozzles to ensure quality of water is safe for consumption.
Where necessary chemicals such as Sodium Hypochlorite are added to the water in the tank and circulated for a period of thirty minutes before the water can be distributed to consumers. These processes are followed routinely to avoid any outbreaks off illness from consumption of unclean water.
“Make sure that you use water more than once so that we can ensure that those (who) are not serviced do get services,” said Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane at the launch of the Bulk Water Supply Scheme in the iLembe District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.She appealed to the beneficiaries of the Lower Tugela Bulk Water Supply Scheme to not only save water, but to reuse it too.
The R1.32-billion project, which was launched on 22 March, includes the infrastructure required to abstract and treat water from the uThukela River to supply to secondary bulk and reticulation networks within the iLembe District Municipality.These networks will supply both developed and unserved areas. On completion, the scheme will reach a total of 750 000 inhabitants.”As we continue to bring this infrastructure into place, let us ensure that we do not do illegal connections, steal water or destroy infrastructure,” Mokonyane said.She encouraged those who could afford to pay for water services to do so, while those who could not pay should register as unable to pay.”The first phase of the Umgeni component is due for commissioning by May 2016,” she said. “The first phase is designed to produce 55 mega-litres of potable water per day. The design, however, is such that it is relatively easily upgraded to a 110 mega-litre plant.”Some 1 163 job opportunities have been created by the project to date.
THE provision of water to entire citizens of the continent is a formidable task that can nonetheless be fulfilled.
This has the prevailing sentiment at the seventh Africities Summit ongoing in Johannesburg.
Chris Heymans, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank, based in Nairobi, Kenya said although major challenges existed, World Bank research presently being undertaken found there were spots of encouragement on the continent.
It was these examples that could provide the impetus for effectively tackling water and sanitation problems across the continent by providing tangible examples of success to other local authorities and utilities.
The ideal delivery system for water was piping of the commodity into homes of users, said Heymans.
This had a profound impact on the quality of life of individuals, but -because of rapid urbanisation in Africa’s cities – this ideal was being hampered by growing slum settlements on the outskirts of cities where people still had to move long distances to find water.
Across the continent, the needs of settled, ‘richer’ communities and those of poorer consumers were tackled in various ways. Some authorities restricted themselves to piped delivery to more affluent areas, whilst other cities argued for not providing water at household levels.
“Whatever the arguments for and against, the fact was that it was the poor who suffered as they had to pay more for water than more privileged consumers. They also relied on ‘water merchants’ to supply what could be water of a poor standard. The impact on quality of life and health were obvious,” Heymans said.
He cited an example of Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, where a working compromise had been established and was working for the benefit of all parties.
Although city inhabitants received piped water, the city authorities had taken the decision to extend their water network by running pipes to the outskirts of areas dominated by informal settlements outside the city limits.
“Here, people who had been selling water, had been recruited as partners and were engaged in running the pipe network further into these areas and selling access to water piped closer to peoples’ homes,” Heymans said.
To ensure that these services could be supplied at a reasonable rate to the people, the delivery of water to the outskirts of these areas was subsidised by the utility.
“The result had been an increase in the quality of life for thousands of people,” said Heymans said.
Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) on Thursday said it was alarmed by the continuing water and sanitation challenges being experienced in the Madibeng local municipality, in North West, despite capital injections to tackle these problems. Print Send to Friend 0 0 The municipality had been ravaged by water shortages since July, which it had, at the time, attributed to sludge build-up at the Brits water treatment plant.
On a recent site visit, the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation noted that the challenges were compounded by the high rates of vandalism and theft to water infrastructure, particularly valves, copper and transformers. It noted that this was a direct contributor to water shortages in many instances and had a negative effect on service delivery, as money budgeted for other purposes by the municipality was diverted towards the replacement of these missing components.
“We are appealing to the people to look after the infrastructure so that we can assist the government in accelerating service delivery throughout the country. “With the backing of over 537 member firms, Cesa is willing and able to partner with government and other key role-players in finding lasting and practical solutions to these water challenges, especially in relation to infrastructure development,” Cesa acting CEO Wally Mayne said.
Youth encouraged to apply for DWS Bursary/Scholarship programme 2016
There is a shortage of skills in the water and sanitation sector. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) as the custodian of South Africa’s water resources, through its Learning Academy External Bursary Scheme, provides bursaries yearly to aid in closing this gap. DWS is welcoming all applicants who would like to pursue careers that are in line with the department’s core business.
The Department of Water and Sanitation scheme boasts an all-inclusive package recognised in South Africa as being highly competitive. The DWS External Bursary Scheme aims to attract exceptional young and innovative talent to the department; those that are adequately talented in this regard and wish to become part of SA’s water and sanitation sector team, need to be aware that the DWS is ready to change their lives.
Students pursuing the following fields of study are eligible to apply: Analytic chemistry, Aquatic Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Cartography, Civil/Electrical/Mechanical engineering, Environmental Law/Management/ Science, Geo-chemistry, Geographical information systems, Geo-hydrology, Geology, Hydrology, Limnology, Microbiology, Surveying, Water and Sanitation, Water Care, Water Resource Management, and Water Utilisation.
The Learning Academy is committed to the effective administration of the programme, ensuring the provision of an immediate response to the perceived and imminent threat of skills shortages within DWS and the water and sanitation sector in South Africa. The immediate objectives of the Learning Academy are to forestall a skills shortage within DWS that will arise from the retirement of senior engineering and technical management personnel.
Currently DWS bursaries for the full time pre- and post-graduate studies are granted on an annual basis to learners at these South African universities:
- University of Pretoria
- University of KwaZulu-Natal
- University of Free State
- University of Cape Town
- University of Stellenbosch
- University of the Western Cape
- University of Limpopo
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- Walter Sisulu University
- Tshwane University of Technology
- Durban University of Technology
- Central University of Technology
- Cape Peninsula of University of Technology
- Vaal University of Technology
- University of Venda
- University of Witwatersrand
- University of Johannesburg
- University of Zululand
Bursaries will be allocated on the basis of a balanced consideration of academic performance, race and gender, financial need, need of DWS in reference to the specific qualification, and an interview schedule. Assistance will be provided on a year-to-year basis and bursaries will be renewed only if performance of bursars is satisfactory. Successful applicants to the bursary scheme receive full tertiary registration and tuition costs, residence and meal fees, book allowance, and an annual personal allowance.
The Department of Water and Sanitation will require bursars who obtain their qualifications to join the department’s Learning Academy on a fixed term contract for a period of maximum five years but not less than three years. To obtain the application form, the applicants should go to www.dws.gov.za/LearningA.
The closing date for 2016 bursary applications is 31 July 2015.
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Pretoria — The Department of Water and Sanitation has welcomed the sentence against Bosveld Phosphate (PTY) Ltd in relation to environmental degradation and water offences.
The plant produces phosphoric acid, which is used in fertiliser.
These charges relate to unlawfully and intentionally or negligently causing a situation in December 2013 which led to water containing polluted substances being released into the Selati River which forms one of the tributaries of the Olifants River.
The Olifants River eventually flows through the Kruger National Park which is one of South Africa’s biggest drawcards for tourism.
The waste water that was released had the potential to cause serious damage, not only to the immediate environment, but also to water resources of Mozambique.
The company which pleaded guilty to violating sections of the National Water Act and the National Environmental Management Act was fined to the tune of R1,1 million was suspended while R1450 fine is payable within 14 days.
Head of the Blue Scorpions, an enforcement unit at department of Water and Sanitation, Nigel Adams, described the fine as a victory for the environment and tourism.
He hoped that the hefty fine would serve as a deterrent to potential offenders.
Adams said the Blue Scorpions would continue to raid industries that polluted South Africa’s rivers with impunity.
In the past year alone the unit had raided no fewer than 20 offending companies and local governments and served them with directives (notices) to stop their illegal activities.
These ranged from farmers to mines and abattoirs. Repeat offenders have been charged and fined by the courts, Adams said.
Association for Water and Rural Development ‘s Sharon Pollard said the mines and associated industries cannot cope with the amount of effluent they produce and this represented an ongoing source of risk to the people and natural resources in the catchment.
“Our research into the resilience of the Limpopo River Basin and the Olifants Catchment in particular indicates that there have been spills every year for a long time, not just from Bosveld.
“At the end of the day the mines and associated industries can’t cope with the amount of effluent they produce and this represents an ongoing source of risk to the people and natural resources in the catchment.”
Pretoria — Residents of Jericho in the North West province have welcomed plans by government to supply drinking water to their village in about two weeks.
The announcement to lay out a R2.8 million pipeline that will connect a reservoir to two boreholes to supply water to the village was announced by officials from the Department of Water and Sanitation, provincial and local government and Madibeng Local Municipality.
Magalies Water, which was appointed as an implementing agent, has employed a contractor to start with the digging of a trench to lay pipes.
“The contractor started his work last week by conducting a site establishment and he will employ locals to create jobs in the area,” the department said on Tuesday.
However, it warned that the first phase of the project will not employ as many people because of its small nature. More people will be employed in the second phase as it will involve massive development from Brits to Jericho.
“The laying of the pipes will form part of phase one of the water project that will supply water from the existing boreholes. According to the plan that was unveiled [on Monday], phase one will be completed in about a month’s time before phase two is implemented.
“The second phase will include the yard connections of households in the village to enable residents to access water in their yards. A pipeline will be connected to the Brits Treatment Plant to ensure a regular supply of drinking water,” the department explained.
Residents have been asked to disconnect illegal pipes that are currently negatively affecting the reticulation of water from the reservoir.
Lucky Fourie from the local government department appealed to the residents to be united to ensure the implementation of the water project.
Water and Sanitation Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, will today attend the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Water Ministers Meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The ministers, who represent 15 member states of SADC, will be reviewing the progress on the implementation of the third phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP III) 2011 – 2015.
The ministers are also expected to provide strategic and political guidance on the fourth phase of the SADC Water Programme (RSAP IV), which is currently under development.
Several meetings have been held among senior government officials representing the 15 member states of SADC in preparation of the meeting of ministers.
South Africa has over the years promoted cooperation within SADC on the sustainable management of water resources in the region and their use to unlock both social and economic development.
Water is an economic and social asset that must be harvested and utilised to provide adequate water supply, sanitation, energy, food security and industrial and infrastructure development across SADC.
In this regard, the country has several bi-lateral agreements with neighbouring states and SADC member states on water management, security and provision.
This includes the recently signed agreement with Zimbabwe during the State Visit to South Africa by Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe in April 2015.
The minister will be accompanied by senior officials of the Department of Water and Sanitation, some of whom have been engaged in the pre-negotiations in preparation for the Ministers meeting.
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