- The Department of Water and Sanitation wants to find permanent water supply solutions for North West residents.
- Minister Senzo Mchunu is setting up a steering committee to tackle water issues in the North West.
- The team is expected to report on the plan the first week of February.
Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has his eyes set on setting up a steering committee to oversee and ensure that water and sanitation services management is sustainable in the North West.
A technical task team will be established, comprised of professional engineers from the Department and Water and Sanitation, the Magalies Water Board, as well as all district and local municipalities, to carry out technical work of assessing, planning, and implementing water and sanitation needs of the whole province.
Mchunu, accompanied by Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi, spent Thursday and Friday in Maquassi Hills and the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipalities respectively to assess the state of water and sanitation, and to receive an update on the water supply interventions that are being implemented through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG).
“We are establishing a political steering committee chaired by myself and the premier for the whole province. Under that steering committee, there will be a technical task team that will be convened by the [department], and in it, there will be Magalies Water as well as all district and local municipalities whether affected for now or not by these challenges,” Mchunu added.
He said the technical structure will be represented by technical individuals such as engineers because it “is a purely technical committee that will be responsible for assessing every municipality, looking at available resources, analysing existing water schemes, those projects that are complete and incomplete, and all causes of stress on the water in the province, and come up with solutions.”
“This task team should be able to provide us with a detailed plan of what needs to be done, costs and contributions by each municipality, at a local and district level, and the board as well as the department in order to restore water in areas where there are challenges.”
Meetings with various stakeholders in the water sector once again showed the need for collective planning and implementation of action plans by all role-players to ensure synergy and sustainable provision of water and sanitation services in the province.
The issues of water in the North West do exist and are serious, but they are not insurmountable. They are not such a big issue that they may make us put our hands on our heads and wonder how we are going to fix it, rather it needs a collective approach. We, therefore, are going to fix this ourselves as national, provincial, and local government as well the role-players in this water sector.
The minister said he has confidence that the formation of the structures will yield positive results in resolving water challenges affecting most communities in the various parts of the province.
The Technical Task Team is expected to report on the compressive plan the first week of February.