Question NW1391 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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21 November 2019 - NW1391

Profile picture: Van Staden, Mr PA

Van Staden, Mr PA to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

(1)What was the total amount of litres of water lost due to leaking reservoirs and pipes in the 2018-19 financial year in each municipality in the Republic; (2) does her department have strategies and action plans in place to ensure that municipalities keep their water infrastructure intact; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether her department will take action against a municipality that does not keep its water infrastructure intact; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) whether she will make a statement on the matter?


(1) The latest report on water losses and Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in South Africa (Includes 2017/18 data) estimates the real losses at 1 150 079 000 m³/a refer to Annexure A. Real losses are defined as physical losses from a pressurised system, up to a point of measurement of customer use. This includes losses from reservoirs and pipe leakages. Refer to Annexure B for water losses per Water Services Authority (WSA). Monitoring and reporting on water losses is a mandate of a WSA as per Water Services Act, (Act No 106 of 1997), and hence the response refers to Water Services Authorities and not per municipality.

(2) The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan provides the schedule of interventions, programs, plans, and projects (including but not limited to infrastructure) that will be implemented to elevate the current situation in the sector to its desired future state. This schedule contains, for each action, specific deliverables, execution times, responsible parties and required budgets. The plan allocates responsibilities to the various tiers of government and other stakeholders for implementation to achieve efficiencies in investment planning, implementation of actions and evaluation of achievements.

Furthermore, the Department is in the process of implementing 5 (five) year water and sanitation reliability implementation plans that will ensure a pipeline of projects that will provide services that are sustainable and keep the municipal infrastructure functional. The Department is also conducting annual municipal business health checks which include the management of municipal infrastructure. Based on the outcome of the business health check the Department assists municipalities to develop 5 year municipal actions plans to address areas that require attention, including assets management, operation and maintenance of assets.

The Department is continuously monitoring and analysing the progress made with the implementation of Water Conservation and Water Demand Management and targets set during the updating of Reconciliation Strategies, at Water Services Authority level, within the eight large water supply systems. All the relevant stakeholders meet twice a year to report progress on the implementation of various strategies which will ensure the sustainability of water resources.

The No Drop Programme, which is an incentive based regulatory tool, entails a comprehensive assessment and audit of planning, finance, technical skills and performance criteria which gives an inclusive view of the Water Demand Management business of the Water Services Authority. The No Drop Programme enables the Department to measure the performance of Water Services Authority and subsequently to reward (or penalise) the institution based upon evidence of their excellence (or failures) according to the minimum standards or requirements that have been defined.

(3) The Department regulates the municipal performance on Water Conservation and Water Demand Management, which includes asset management (as key criteria) as part of the No Drop Programme. The results of the No Drop assessments will indicate whether the WSA should be penalised or rewarded for performance.

Through both the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) and Water Services Act (Act 106 of 1997), the Minister may issue Letters, Notices, Directives and enforcement letters for non-compliance to the set regulatory tools (e.g. water use authorizations and Regulations).

(4) The Department is continuously assessing Non-Revenue Water and water losses in South Africa. Therefore, The Minister, from time to time, at particular place, in any prevailing condition may make statement regarding Water Conservation and Water Demand Management in general.