Question NW2629 to the Minister of Water and Sanitation

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28 September 2023 - NW2629

Profile picture: Mkhonto, Ms C N

Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation

In light of the distressing claims of the Bethesda Hospital in Umkhanyakude being without a consistent water supply since 2018, coupled with reports of essential healthcare personnel struggling to perform their duties due to inadequate availability of water, what steps of intervention and/or assistance has he taken to address the long-standing issue of water shortage at the specified health facility?


The Bethesda Hospital is connected to very old water supply infrastructure with serious limitations in terms of capacity and efficiency which cannot meet the current demands. The adverse effects of load shedding by Eskom have worsened the situation mainly because the purification plant at Mkuze was on a different schedule to the three booster pump stations (through the game reserve), resulting in the power being available at the booster pump stations whilst the Water Treatment Works is off. However, Eskom has since corrected this, and all systems are now on the same loadshedding schedule.

The Umkhanyakude District Municipality (UKDM) has prepared a detailed business plan to complete the upgrade of the Mkuze Water Treatment Works (from 4.5 ML/d to 9 ML/d) which is critical to resolve the current situation at Bethesda Hospital. The municipality has applied for R82 million from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) for this upgrade. The Department of Water and Sanitation, through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) is funding the Hlabisa/Mandlakazi Bulk Water project to provide raw water from the Jozini Dam to the Zululand District Municipality. Provision for a tap off point (chamber) for the Mkuze WTW is being made under this project.

The DWS has also intervened through the uMngeni-uThukela Water Board in terms of Section 63 of the Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997). Through this intervention, funding of R403 million has been allocated to deal with water issues under UKDM. The UKDM continues to monitor supply of potable water to Bethesda Hospital and further supplement with water tankering as and when required.


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