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PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY
04 April 2001
BRIEFING BY DEPARTMENT ON SANITATION AND FREE WATER
Chairperson: Ms B Sonjica
The Chief Director of Water Services of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry addressed the Portfolio Committee on the Department's implementation of the sanitation programme.
Mr Simmons (NNP) asked about subsidies. He wanted to know through what channels subsidies flow from the DPLG to local governments. Second, he asked for an explanation of the Chief Director's claim that local governments do not regard water provision and sanitation as a priority.
Chief Director Mpotulo replied that regarding the channeling of funds, projects become identified, proritised and accepted by local government. Business plans are subsequently submitted to DPLG. After the business plans have been approved, the funds are then channeled to local government.
Chief CJ Maluleke-Hlaneki (ANC) asked whether all departments budget for sanitation, and whether they do so in the same way. Was there no way that the government could entrust one department with the responsibility for sanitation?
The Chief Director replied the departments do budget differently for sanitation. However, there is now a move toward consolidated infrastructural funding. The entire budget that has been allocated to Water Affairs will be put into one basket. Thereafter all the departments involved will sit with local government and prioritise projects.
Mr MJ Phala (ANC) asked which department is monitoring sanitation and water affairs in the rural areas where there is RDP Housing. Second, he asked which provincial departments are involved in the monitoring of sanitation projects.
Chief Director Mpotulo replied the central cabinet has granted the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry the responsibility to monitor the delivery of services. It will have similar responsibility even if local governments are implementing the provision of services. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry would also have the responsibility of providing these services should there be a breakdown in the provision of services by the local governments. This will be done jointly with DPLG.
Ms Manzana asked whether there was budget set aside to make people aware of the dangers of contaminating underground water, especially by people living in rural areas who use water from boreholes.
Chief Director Mpotulo replied that the Phase A health and hygiene awareness campaign deals with all these issues. A budget has been set aside for a sanitation programme. This will be followed by the construction of toilets. There are pilot projects that are designed to deal with these issues. Other areas in the country are yet to be covered.
Mr M Masala (ANC) asked whether these programmes have been implemented in the Eastern Cape.
Ms Mpotulo replied some programmes have been implemented in the Eastern Cape.
Mr S Simmons (NNP) asked whether any funds made available for sanitation for the year 2000 budget have been rolled over to this year's budget.
Ms Mpotulo replied the Minister emphasised that whatever was thought to be a rollover from last year's budget was allocated to KwaZulu-Natal to fight the cholera epidemic.
The meeting was adjourned.
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