Committee Reports; First Term Committee Programme

Water and Sanitation

22 November 2017
Chairperson: Mr M Johnson (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation adopted three reports: Report on the oversight visit to Limpopo, Report on World Water Day Summit and Expo, and Draft Committee Programme.

Meeting report

Committee Report on oversight visit to the Limpopo Province (15 – 17 August 2017)

The Chairperson took the Members through the recommendations of the report, page by page.

Mr L Basson (DA) proposed the Committee should request the Department to give it feedback on the recommendations of the Committee within 60 days.

Ms M Khawula (EFF) remarked that the Committee needs to do a follow after its visit to the Makepisi Project where there was a shortage of water because it was stopped by ZZ2, and to the other area where people had products but no access to markets.

The Chairperson stated the issue of having products but with no market should be referred to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and local municipality to ensure the venture continues to thrive.

The Committee Secretary indicated correspondence was sent to the Department regarding the stoppage of water by ZZ2, but it said it would do a thorough investigation. At this stage, no report of investigation has been relayed to the Committee.

Ms Khawula suggested the Committee should be given feedback on three matters: the Nandoni Dam evictions and R30 million that has been ring-fenced; the people of Mahabane village who had illegal water connections because they are bankrupting the municipality and the Committee needs to find out how they could be assisted; and why ZZ2 deviated water and if the farm has got water, and how people could be assisted in that area.

Mr Basson moved for the adoption of the report.

Mr D Mnguni (ANC) seconded the proposal.

The report was adopted with minor amendments.

Committee Report on World Water Day Summit and Expo at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (22-23 March 2017)

Mr Basson commented that his visit to Korea was an eye-opener about the kind of technologies that are available in the world that SA does not use regarding water management. He suggested the Committee should go to Brazil during 2018 to see new technologies because South Africa is part of BRICS.

Ms Khawula agreed with Mr Basson’s idea and indicated it has been 5 years the Committee has been on a study tour. Study tours are eye-openers to see what could be done locally with new technologies.

Mr Mnguni stated if there are challenges preventing the Committee from going on tours, the Chairperson of Chairpersons should give the Committee reasons for not allowing it to go and give available alternatives.

The Chairperson said the Committee needs to be guided by the research team. It also depends on how they and parliament plan. The research team needs to know the programmes for the year so that the Committee could submit advance applications for the tours in time. He also indicated the Lesotho Water Highlands Project should be included in the 2018 programme, just for oversight purposes.

Ms D Manana (ANC) suggested the Chairperson should discuss the issue of tours with the Chairperson of Chairpersons because the Committee looks at critical issues like water and sanitation.

Mr Basson remarked that because water is life, the Committee needs to know about new innovations and learn from the rest of the world. If the Chairperson of Chairpersons is blocking the Committee from tours, he must explain to the Committee why. If this does not work, then the Committee should approach the Speaker. There is so much to learn from countries like Israel because they have water shortages. There are new innovations there. Grey water is being used by farmers and they are subsidised by the state.

Mr T Manungufula, Committee Researcher, gave the Committee a list of water events that are going to happen during 2018: World Water Week, World Water Forum, and the Conference of Parties on Climate Change.

Ms Shireen Dawood, Committee Content Advisor, stated she would look at the programmes and events of other departments like DAFF, DEA, and COGTA for the centrality of water. It would be a cross-cutting inter-sectoral work on water.

Mr Basson proposed the adoption of the report.

Ms N Bilankulu (ANC) seconded the proposition.

The report was adopted with minor amendments.

Committee Draft Programme

The Committee agreed on the draft Committee Programme for 2018 with minor amendments.

The meeting was adjourned.


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