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WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 February 2000
REPORT OF STUDY VISITS TO THE PROVINCES; DRAFT COMMITTEE PROGRAMME: DISCUSSION
Chairperson's Summary Report on Visits (Appendix 1)
Draft Overall Report on Study Visits to all Provinces Undertaken on 10-15 January and 7 February, 2000.
- The Nkomati Water Management area in Mpumalanga wants to appoint an advisory committee. They are requesting that the Committee submit three nominees, from which one will be appointed. It was agreed that Members from Mpumalanga Legislature submit their Curriculum Vitae's. There was also agreement that the Chair would interact with the Minister on who the first choice should be.
- The request for funding to attend the World Water 2000 conference in Holland on March 17 has been denied.
- The Department of Water Affairs debate on the budget vote will be on 16 March 2000.
Draft Programme for first session:
Review of the Provincial Tour Report
1. Briefing by Guy Preston of Working for Water. Objective is to evaluate the program before the budget debate.
2. Department of Water Affairs briefing on Bott contracts. This will also have a budgetary focus
3. Water Boards problems and prospects. The many problems emerging during the provincial tour.
Budget briefing. The Minister will present his approach to the budget so that the Committee will not be contradiction his vision and mission.
National launch of Water Week. The members will participate in the clean up of a river.
1. Briefing by Dr. Mokeyane on the White Paper on Sanitation.
2. Report from the World Water 2000 conference.
Review of implementation of key legislation.
It was pointed out that April 26 falls during the leave period, and May 3 was designated for constituency work. The Chair took note of this and will notify the Committee of any changes.
Provincial Tour Report:
It emerged that the report as it is currently drafted, is not systematic enough and that there is a need for assistance in technical matters in order to clarify certain issues and formulate recommendations. There was some discussion about whether this expertise should come from the Department, but there was a strong feeling that the Committee retain its independence. It was proposed that some thought be given as to who the independent resource should be and the Chair agreed to consult on this. The committee was particularly concerned that the recommendations be practical and that mechanisms be set in place to monitor their implementation.
The Chair noted that a time-frame was needed for obtaining an independent technical opinion and for tabling the report in Parliament.
CHAIRPERSON'S SUMMARY REPORT ON VISITS
Purpose of the visit
- Carry out an oversight role
- Investigate issues of delivery of water and sanitation
- Monitor implementation of the National Water Act 1998; Water Services Act (1997); Forests.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Water Supply - General problems which are common to all provinces.
- Incomplete projects because of budget cuts - (reticulation, pipes lying, phases).
- Polluted water
- Cost recovery
- Communities not involved at the beginning of projects in certain areas
- Scarcity of water resource - (bore holes ground water_
- Limited funds for capacity building of elected officials (for operations and maintenance)
- Projects stopped because of land disputes
- No formal services providers
- Vandalism of communal taps
- Water supply not meeting RDP standards
- Collapsed old irrigation schemes
- Poor quality of water
- Political tensions - water used as a tool
- Transformation - water boards - marginalisation of Black businesses.
Positive Observation i.e. Consultants
- WWF - mainly successful funding
- A lot has been done around delivery
- Improved socio-economic conditions
- Most communities have been involved or consulted at early stages of projects
- a huge backlog - people do not perceive it as a priority
- causes health hazards
--Restructuring - communities are left out in the process.