Provincial Water Service Tours: discussion

Water and Sanitation

16 November 1999
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


16 November 1999

Documents handed out
Provincial Visits 99-2000 Guide to Discussion (Attached to end of minutes)
Departmental Tour Proposal
Results of the Portfolio Committee Questionnaire

The Committee decided to tour seven of the provinces in three groups during the week of the 10-15 January 2000. The Department would take note of the results of the Committee questionnaire in planning the tours.

The Chairperson, Ms Sonjica (ANC), presented the Committee with a table identifying the areas of concern the members had identified in the questionnaire. The table would be used to help structure the tours that would be arranged jointly by the Department and the Committee. Ms Sonjica took the Committee through her observations, which she tabled in a 'Guide to Discussions' document. See Appendix 1.

The Department briefly went through the initial tour plan that they had prepared for the meeting. However, they noted that the issues and areas raised by the Committee would require the plans to be reworked. In addition, the division of the Committee into three separate groups for the tours would enable the Department to expand on the amount of areas and issues covered.

The Committee agreed that the Chairperson would appoint convenors for each of the three groups, and that the department would work with the convenors to finalise plans. The week of January 10-15 2000 was tentatively set as the planned schedule for the trips. However this would need to be checked with the parliamentary programme for that week.

The Committee heard a short briefing from the Department on Water Conservation and Demand Management strategies. See Appendix 2.

Insufficient time remained for questions, and a follow up meeting early in the new year was proposed.

The meeting adjourned.

These minutes have been supplied by Contact

Appendix 1:


  1. Convergence. The purpose of our visits can be to create a point of convergence. On the ground, we will be gathering information, (not wailing and lamentation,) but bringing together the key role players: engineers, local authorities, DWAF officials, consultants, and ourselves as political representatives.
  2. Development. The water Services Act requires all local authorities to submit master plans for water services in their areas. What has happened to these? How many have made submissions? The problems we identify in Provinces, leading up to now and from this time on: does it overlap with problems identified by DWAF? What solutions have the found? Does DWAF delegate its own problems.
  3. RDP Phases one, two and three. What is the current status of the documents previously presented on the implementation of RDP standards of water services? How have budget cuts made their impacts?
  4. Breakthrough. It would be ideal if each visit was to an area where there is potential producing a breakthrough, for example where there are bottlenecks, financial constraints, failure of communication, or any other problem to which we can offer at least part of the solution or way forward.
  5. Rather let us go to where we can show how money can be accessed (DBSA), where contractors can be present or introduced, where work can commence; and also to say how progress will be monitored and evaluated by representatives we identify.

  6. Cold Light. We will also look at the brutal facts of where there is no water supply, and where there is no sustainable water supply. We must face up to actual problems and address them, issues such as illegal connections to water supply schemes, and how this makes a bad situation worse. This is in the face of the poverty and desperation that leads people to making those illegal connections in the first place.
  7. Non-Payment of Services. Why does this problem exist? How is DWAF addressing the problem? Water is being done to ensure the viability of local authorities? Where can we apply our influence to produce solutions (DBSA)?
  8. Approach. A holistic to all problems is needed. We cannot tell people to take out the illegal connections. We must get the information that shows how their actions impact on the sustainability of the scheme to which they attach, from a holistic view. WE must find out the cost for DWAF to incorporate in their schemes, the level and sustainability being imposed by these connections. How does DWAF identify and deal with illegal connections at present? The limitations of our own budget for these tours?


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