Question NW2876 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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10 December 2020 - NW2876

Profile picture: Ceza, Mr K

Ceza, Mr K to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

How will her department ensure that action will be taken with regard to the (a) contamination of water, (b) rehabilitation of water infrastructure and (c) dysfunctional meter system in Clewer in the Emalahleni Local Municipality, Mpumalanga?


a) Honourable Member, on 02 December 2020, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) conducted an investigation at Clewer in the Emalahleni Local Municipality. The investigation revealed that there was sewage overflow from a manhole located outside a residential property which is flowing into the tributary of Brugspruit River. In accordance with Section 19 (3) and 53 (1) of the National Water Act, the DWS issued a Directive to the Municipality to rectify the non- compliance identified in the area.


b) The administrative enforcement action will direct the Municipality to submit and implement an infrastructure rehabilitation plan in order to restore the quality of the water source.

(c) The investigators did not discover any dysfunctional meter system in the area. However, it should be noted that the DWS does not have a mandate to monitor meter systems in the municipality. The legislative mandate of the Department of Water and Sanitation is to ensure that the country’s water resources are protected, managed, used, developed, conserved and controlled in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all people and the environment.

The Water Services Act, 1997 refers to municipalities as Water Service Authorities (WSAs) responsible for distribution (reticulation) of water and to supply sanitation services. The Water Services Act in section 3 outlines the right of access to basic water supply and sanitation which mandates that “everyone has a right of access to basic water supply and basic sanitation” and places the responsibility on Water Services Authorities to ensure that they develop a Water Services Development Plan (WSDP) to ensure the realisation of this right.

Section 11 of the Water Services Act, 1997 mandates that “every Water Services Authority has the duty to all consumers or potential consumers in its area of jurisdiction to progressively ensure efficient, affordable, economical and sustainable access to water services.”

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