Question NW1524 to the Minister of Water and Sanitation

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27 July 2022 - NW1524

Profile picture: Buthelezi, Ms SA

Buthelezi, Ms SA to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation

What (a) areas has his department identified nationally, as being the most (i) affected by the water crisis and (ii) likely to have major water and sanitation issues and (b) plans does his department have in place to prevent day zero?


a) Areas experiencing water shortages are mostly rural areas in the provinces of the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu Natal, Free State and the Northern Cape. In addition, 32% households in South Africa do not have access to a reliable services due to dilapidated infrastructure as well as lack of proper operations and maintenance of existing infrastructure which results in disruptions and shortage of water supply.

Access to sanitation services is less than 85% in six provinces including in the Free State (82.3%), KwaZulu Natal (KZN) (80.9%), Limpopo (63.7%), North West (68.8%), Mpumalanga (63.7%), and Northern Cape (83.9%). Access in the provinces of, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West are below the national average at 82.1%. in the efforts to remedy these challenges, the DWS will be submitting a National Sanitation Framework (NSF) to Cabinet for approval.

The framework seeks to:

  • Revise the national norms and standards for sanitation and provide for equitable sanitation provision across all settlement types
  • Strengthen monitoring and compliance to the standards, and
  • Sets out measures to improve service delivery such as support in various forms to address service delivery lapses.

b) The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is in the process of planning and implementing a range of major projects to augment national bulk water resource infrastructure and is in the process of establishing the National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency (NWRIA) to finance and implement the large-scale investments in national water resource infrastructure that are required to ensure that South Africa has sufficient bulk water supply now and in future. The use of groundwater, desalination of seawater and rainwater harvesting are also being implemented to address local water requirements.

The DWS will strengthen its role in supporting and intervening in municipalities where water and sanitation services are failing, in conjunction with provinces, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, National Treasury and the South African Local Government Association. This will be done in the spirit of cooperative governance in the Constitution to avoid creating inter-governmental conflict. The service delivery imporvement plan will include:

  • Optimal use of the legislative framework
  • Reconfiguration of Water Boards
  • Positioning of reconfigured Boards to work closely with Municipalities with regards to ensuring capacity for service delivery
  • Development and implementation of rolling plans for providing support and intervention for water and sanitation services to municipalities, drawing on a range of national support programmes
  • Partnerships with the private sector that includes funding as well as technical and managerial expertise


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