Minister of Water and Sanitation Budget speech & responses by ANC, DA and IFP


11 May 2016

Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, gave her Budget Vote Speech on 11 May 11, 2016.


Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,
Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee and Committee members,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
Cabinet colleagues,
Chairpersons and CEs of Water Boards and other Water Sector Entities,
Honoured guests,
Ladies and gentlemen.

We are here to present to Parliament and the people of South Africa the Budget of the Department of Water and Sanitation for 2016/17.

As guided by the precepts and imperatives of the National Development Plan, the ANC Manifesto, the second National Water Strategy, the Department of Water and Sanitation continues to put water provision and sanitation services at the centre of the government programmes. Guided by the NDP we will steer South Africa towards radical socio-economic transformation to create jobs, reduce inequality and push back the frontiers of poverty.

Furthermore, as part of transformation ensure that there is inclusive growth, creation of new industries and promotion of knowledge-based solutions. And that water will contribute to peace and stability as well as act as a cross-cutting agent for change.

The broad vision of the National Development Plan for Water Resources and Services is that, by 2030, all South Africans will have affordable access to sufficient safe water and hygienic sanitation to live healthy and dignified lives.

Through this Budget we are presenting here, we seek to ensure that the pace of service delivery is accelerated and that we pay attention to further develop resilient infrastructure that will help us to meet the needs of households, industry, commerce and the environment.

In September 2015, together with 192 other countries, South Africa through the United Nations committed itself to the realization of the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For the very first time, water and sanitation was adopted as a stand-alone Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The establishment of the relatively new Department of Water and Sanitation underscores the centrality of water and sanitation for sustainable development.  

Implementation of the SDGs will require us to pay attention to the quality of projects in order to ensure quality and reliability, as underscored in the Sustainable Development Goals.

With this budget we will continue working hard to ensure that women like MaDlamini from Umkhanyakude and MaChauke from Giyani, cease to be victims of indecent assault and humiliation through bringing quality dignified sanitation and quality within their reach.

Drought and our interventions to mitigate impact

As a reminder, South Africa is a water scarce country that has never fully explored mixed water use. For some time now, the country has been in the clutches of a severe drought, largely due to climate change and the rise in temperatures. The drought has exacerbated the scarcity and has placed food production and water supplies under threat.

In response to the aforementioned challenges, the South African Government has established an Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Service Delivery, with representation from different sectors. Within the water sector, in order to mitigate the drought effects, dam operating rules have been applied to 35 dams and 4 systems where restrictions are currently applied with regard to the water resource (mandatory restrictions on domestic and agricultural use).

To mitigate the effects of the drought on water users, the Department has spent over R500 million on emergency and short-term interventions in KwaZulu Natal, Free State, North West, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Western Cape and Northern Cape which include:

  • Water conservation and Water Demand Management (War on leaks)
  • Surface water resource management (optimized operation of the Vaal River System)
  • Groundwater resource management (drilling and equipping of boreholes),
  • Carting of water (fleet of motorized tankers),
  • Provision of static storage tanks and storage reservoirs,
  • Water Transfers (emergency transfers from Tugela to  Goedetrouw, and Othongathi River transfer to Hazelmere),

The medium to long term interventions are intended to ensure that we are more climate change resilient, which would of course reduce the risks for future drought mitigation. They include:

  • Domestic rain water harvesting (drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation
  • Integrating groundwater and surface water use in the future,
  • Desalination at a large scale
  • Invest in innovative solutions such as Drop the Block, a water saving mechanism which was designed by Prasheen Dokie, a young chemical engineer from KZN. Prasheen is here today and we want to acknowledge his presence.  
  • Incorporate all municipal and privately owned dams into the management system for the future
  • Implement further transfer schemes to improve drought resilience, 
  • Build additional storage capacity, 
  • Lastly, roll out large scale re-use of water (effluent recycling, focus on coastal towns where treated effluent is disposed of via sea outfalls and not taken into account in return flows), 

Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to take this opportunity to thank South Africans for the unprecedented humanitarian support that we have received from civil society and business during this difficult time. Many organisations, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation, all joined forces with Operation Hydrate and launched what can only be described as being the biggest “water drives” ever seen and have delivered more than 13 million litres of water.

Furthermore, we must extend our sincere appreciation to the Defence force for putting the necessary infrastructure and resources in mitigation of the drought.

Partial review since the last speech

Honourable Speaker and Members,

Since our last presentation of the Budget Vote, the Department has been hard at work to reflect on its own capacity and ensure the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Annual Performance Plan which are aligned to the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).

As mentioned in last year’s Budget Vote Speech, the Department has been working closely with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and National Treasury, to implement the Back to Basics Programme so as to address the challenges faced by local government, strengthening municipalities and instilling a sense of urgency in responding to the needs of citizens.

Progress on the B2B implementation has been most impactful in those municipalities which have been placed under Administration and where we have appointed Water Boards as Implementing Agents.

In this regard, the most notable impact is seen in the Municipalities of Ngaka Modiri Molema and Madibeng in North West Province;  Makana in the Eastern Cape, uMkhanyakude in KwaZulu-Natal as well as Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga. In these particular cases funds have been consolidated to fund projects and we have seen:

  • The rapid reinstatement of water supply  due to dysfunctional infrastructure (Majakaneng in Madibeng)
  • The immediate revitalization restoration and repair of water services (uMkhanyakude and Ramotshere Moiloa, Tswaing, Mahikeng and Ditsobotla in Ngaka Modiri Molema)
  • The optimization of water treatment and waste water treatment works (Brits water treatment works in Madibeng and the pump stations and water treatment works in Makana)
  •  The facilitation and the implementation of capital projects to expand the capacity and improve water quality (Mahikeng, Brits and Makana) 

Honourable Members Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we tabled the Budget Vote last year, we outlined our strategic priorities (Water Resource Management; Water Infrastructure Development; Water and Sanitation Services and the exercise of regulatory and policy responsibilities) for improving service delivery to our people.

We recognize that a large number of the municipal water systems and sewerage systems are in a very poor state of operation and we are committed to fixing this.

Recognising the aforementioned challenges, the Inter-Ministerial Task Team endorsed and supported implementation of a proposal by the Department of Water and Sanitation to implement a “Radical Approach for Operations and Maintenance of Water and Sanitation Infrastructure”.

It is our intention that where there have been service delivery failures and incidents of pollution, we will intervene, and in consultation with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Premiers of the Provinces, to direct the relevant Water Board to exercise the powers and duties of the Water Services Authority in relation to the functions for water supply and sanitation services.

Water and Sanitation revolution

We wish to remind you of the concept of the Water and Sanitation Revolution which was intended to give more impetus and pace to the achievement of our Strategic Priorities.

I wish to reiterate our resolve to further intensify the pursuit of this chosen path that will have a catalytic effect on our socio-economic transformation agenda and the building blocks of the National Development Plan.

The how is based on the following pillars:

A robust infrastructure programme to ensure that our supply side strategy is on budget, appropriate, on target and on time.

Investing in the game-changers

South Africa’s current water use is above global average. Our water conservation and demand management programmes will be scaled up and intensified until they become the norm with water-wise behaviour being the predominant characteristics of all individuals and corporates in South Africa.

Facilitating a water and sanitation revolution

In five years we want to have our industries, including agriculture within sight of the best water use practices in the world. We believe that with this increased resource efficiency our industry players can greatly increase their global footprint and competitiveness. The Strategic Water Partnership Networks (SWPN) is strategically positioned to be our strong partner in this space.

Expanding the water family

The South African water industry is too small, and dominated by the traditional players. We want to both expand and diversify this industry. The Water Research Commission (WRC) has been tasked to expand their technology assessment programme to assist new entrants into the water and sanitation sector.

Technology and Innovation

This remains the key ingredient of success. The Water Research, Development and Innovation Roadmap have been launched as a partnership between the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Department of Science and Technology, with the WRC as implementing agent. Its success will be the key to supporting our water and sanitation ambitions into the future. Importantly, its success will be premised on a vibrant partnership with the private sector, civil society and research institutions.

Infrastructure Planning and Development

Since we have made commitments on infrastructure roll out of major projects in the current administration, a short progress report is provided of some of the projects I mentioned last year.

Mzimvubu River Water Project (Eastern Cape)

Our plan on the Mzimvubu River Water Project in the Eastern Cape is on track, comprising two dams: a large dam at Ntabelanga and a smaller dam combined with a hydro-power facility at Laleni.

The completion of detailed designs will enable commencement of construction which is scheduled to take place during second quarter of 2016/17 financial year. The scheme also includes bulk distribution and water treatment infrastructure, for the benefit of 540,000 indigent domestic users in the OR Tambo, Alfred Nzo and Joe Gqabi District Municipalities as well as 2,800 hectare irrigation development around Tsolo.

Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II

Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP-2) is required in order to augment the Vaal River System through the transfer of additional volumes of water from Lesotho.

The water delivery component of the project involves the construction of a new dam (Polihali Dam), Polihali-Katse tunnel and associated infrastructure at an estimated cost of R22.9 billion with water delivery scheduled for 2024. As the benefit of the water delivery accrues to South Africa, the latter is responsible for funding the water delivery component.

Management of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)

Building on the success of our immediate and short-term interventions to deal with the problem of AMD in the Witwatersrand area, I wish to announce that government has decided to implement a more permanent solution to the challenge. This long-term approach is aimed at transforming AMD into fully treated water, thereby substantially increasing water supply to the Vaal River System and meeting the needs of South Africa’s economic hub. In a week’s time, In this regard I have appoint the TCTA as the Implementing Agent for the long term solution on the AMD, I will shortly provide details on the matter.

Vaal Gamagara (Northern Cape)

The project involves the development of additional groundwater resources to supply the anticipated water demands in support of the mining areas of the Northern Cape and other social requirements.

We are pleased to announce that plans aimed at extending the Lesotho Highlands water network to Botswana have commenced through the development of the Vaal Gamagara.

The expected completion for this phase is March 2018. Total project budget without Botswana is R13 billion and the total project budget including Botswana is estimated at R18, 4 billion.

Clanwilliam Dam and Irrigation Scheme (Western Cape)

We are happy to announce that the diversion of N7 which was a precursor to the raising of the Dam has been completed thanks to SANRAL.

Plans are also in place to extend the distribution system of Clan William dam to cover areas beyond Matsikama and Cederberg areas, thus making Clanwilliam dam a catalyst for development in the West Coast Region. We are also in consultation with the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Rural Development and Land Reform, to ensure that beneficiaries in the land restitution process also have access, so that we redress imbalances of the past.

Water and Sanitation Services

The eradication of a legacy of bucket toilets left by the apartheid system has robbed communities of the right to decent and basic sanitation for all. In a verification process, the Department confirmed some 55 217 bucket toilets predominantly in the Free State Province (with the highest backlog), Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and North West (with the least buckets in existence).

With the reality of water scarcity, the geographic spread of communities in relation to services and the availability of supporting infrastructure underscore the challenges of this project.

To give effect to some of the revolutionary principles, the department has already started implementing a grey water Recycling system in the Nketoana and Setsoto Local Municipality of the Free State Province.

In Britstown, the department eradicated and handed over where some 398 bucket toilets in the Northern Cape. The community will now use a low water flush system.

We are proud to announce that it is in this community where Ma’Joyce together with 13 other senior citizens (above the age of 80) have received an adapted toilet which will allow easy access to the toilet directly from inside the house limiting the walking distance and improving comfort and safety for these households. In the Springbok area of Namakwaland, the department eradicated a further 192 toilets in 7 villages.

The department will also intervene in some municipalities that are struggling to fund the provision and or maintenance of bulk Infrastructure directly supporting the Bucket Eradication Programme. In addition, the department through the Bucket Eradication Programme manage to address the poor infrastructure network emanating from self-made house connections from households, construct new pump-stations and avert further raw sewage spillages into the Caledon River in the Ficksburg area.

To date, some 1 175 buckets were eradicated. This is one amongst many communities in the country where we take pride that we have improved the quality of lives to our people and provided them with dignified solution.

In the North West province, where only 231 bucket toilets were recorded, the department today can announce that this province will join Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Provinces as having rid themselves of the legacy of the bucket toilets in the formal and established townships.

In the Eastern Cape, out of the three projects, the department has completed its programme in Nemato in the Ndlambe Local Municipality wherein 1390 and Paterson (Sunday’s River Valley) where 1245 buckets were eradicated.

By far the most challenging province is the Northern Cape with its flat terrain, scattered project areas and hard rock located almost immediately below the ground surface, demanded the sophisticated machinery to excavate deep trenches for new municipal services.

However, considerable progress has been made and the majority of projects will be completed by the end of June 2016. Our efforts to address the legacy of bucket toilets are well on track and against all odds the Department is making steady progress towards realizing that sanitation is dignity.

With regards to delivery of dry sanitation through the Rural Household Infrastructure Grant in 2015/16 FY, the Department has another good story to tell. Our efforts at augmenting the municipal programme of eradicating the sanitation backlog in the 27 priority district municipalities are on track. In the Eastern Cape the Department delivered 2395 toilets in 5 District Municipalities; in KwaZulu Natal – 5251 in 10 district Municipalities; Limpopo – 1306 in 4 District Municipalities; Free State – 360 in 1 District Municipality; North West – 900 in 2 District Municipalities and 798 new toilets in Mpumalanga in 1 District Municipality. 

Rain Water Harvesting

As a contribution to Inclusive Growth, Rural Development and Land Reform we implemented initiatives that support the Resource Poor Farmers project with access to water through the Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) program. Cumulatively, 862 rainwater harvesting tanks have been installed.

War on Leaks

In August 2015 we launched the War on Leaks that seeks to build capacity required by government and the private sector to reduce the high volume of water loss. 

Phase 1 of the project is currently underway and a total of 2 827 learners are engaged in the learning process in all nine provinces. The war on leaks programme will shortly enter phase two of the three phases and as of 1 July 2016, seven thousand learners will be recruited onto the programme. By June 2017, the third phase of the project will be concluded and a total of fifteen thousand learners will then be active on the programme.

Water and Sanitation as a Transformative Agent

Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since we took over this portfolio, we have travelled throughout the length and breadth of the country, getting to grips with the economic and social implications of water as a cross-cutting enabler for the development South Africa has committed itself to.

We recognise the strides that have been made since the democratic dispensation in 1994, but we are also mindful of the fact that more needs to be done to ensure that the unserved are served, that water is treated as the precious resource that it is and ensure sustainability and reliability.

However, we recognize that over the years the water and sanitation sector has not transformed itself as it should have and our people have not actively participated or benefited from the sector other than being recipients of water.

During the 2014/2015 FY the total expenditure on procurement amounted to R13.3 billion. The amount spent on SMME’s for the period 2014/2015 was a mere R 592.9 million. The Department in the year 2015/16 spent a total amount of R13.5 billion on the procurement, of which only R2.2 billion was spent on SMMEs. This must change.

The department is now committed to transformation and have made it a point to focus on tangible procurement transformation by ensuring that women, youth and persons with disabilities are specifically targeted in the current procurement process.

The department now has multiple strategies to address economic empowerment of these specific groups such as the implementation of a preferred data base for various commodities relating to for example Professional Service Providers (PSPs) or contractors.

Targeted sub-contracting is another mechanism utilised by encouraging joint ventures to incorporate the utilisation of SMMEs as sub-contractors. In its annual performance plan, the Department has further committed to including a 30% set aside for qualifying small enterprises.

We are committing ourselves to fundamentally transforming the sector and ensuring that our people do not solely benefit as tap openers but play a meaningful role. Together with our Entities and Boards, we will  

  • Invest in skilling, especially young people so that they play a meaningful role in the building of dams and the delivery of sanitation infrastructure
  • Create an enabling environment for job opportunities for the historically excluded and vulnerable groups
  • Ensure equitable water allocation and availability for socio-economic development. Our principle is “Use it or Lose it”. You overuse, you pay. We can no longer have instances where our people are bystanders and cannot access water within their 5 kilometre radius. Nor can they be observers in the design, construction, operation and maintenance that take place in the country.
  • Target rural development initiatives that support small holder farmers
  • Support small, medium and micro-enterprises in the sector

Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,

To effectively carry out our mandate of the Department of Water and Sanitation we present to you today a total budget of R15 245 297 000-00 (15 billion, two-hundred and forty-five million, two-hundred and ninety-seven thousand Rand). The breakdown of this budget per programme/branch is as follows:

  • Programme 1: Administration: R1 659 488 000-00 (One billion six-hundred and fifty-nine million four hundred and eighty-eight Rand). Examples include the establishment of a Programme Management Unit.
  • Programme 2: Water Planning and Information Management: R841 817 000-00 (Eight-hundred and forty-one million eight hundred and seventeen thousand Rand). Examples are feasibility study for uMkhomazi project and the Lusikisiki surface and ground water study
  • Programme 3: Water Infrastructure Development: R11 696 415 000-00 (Eleven billion six-hundred and ninety-six million four-hundred and fifteen thousand Rand): Examples are Mzimvubu, Clanwilliam, Hazelmere, Tzaneen/Nwamitwa, Vaal Gamagara, Gariep Augmentation, and the Olifants bulk distribution system
  • Programme 4: Water and Sanitation Services: R701 945 000-00 (Seven-hundred and one million, nine-hundred and forty-five million Rand) Examples are rain water harvesting and support to Resource-Poor farmers
  • Programme 5: Water Sector Regulations: R345 632 000-00 (Three-hundred and forty-five million six-hundred and thirty-two thousand Rand)  Examples are establishment of catchment management agencies and support to water institutions such as water boards

Policy and Institutional Reforms to Address Equity

Chairperson and Honourable Members

Pursuant to the objective of radical transformation of the water and sanitation sector in redressing the imbalances of the past, the department has gazetted the sanitation policy for public comments. The policy is aimed at addressing sanitation throughout the whole value chain.

The department is also working tirelessly to finalise the National Water and Sanitation Bill that will under-go parliamentary processes and be published for public consultation during this financial year. The objective of the Bill is to radically transform the water and sanitation sector across the value chain and create an enabling environment for the delivery of basic water and sanitation services to communities who were historically disadvantaged, thus enhancing access, equity and sustainability.

We will also ensure that the creation of the Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Agency finds traction whilst we pursue the consolidation and rationalization of the Water Boards. During this financial year we will continue with the process of amalgamating Mhlatuze Water and Umgeni Water into one KZN wall to wall Water Board.

The Water Use Licence regulatory framework has been revised in accordance with the integrated licence approach. In addition, the regulations for the metering of water for irrigation purposes have been gazetted for public comments and will be finalised within the first quarter of the financial year.

The department is actively participating in the “Invest South Africa” chaired the President.

Water Security Infrastructure Development

Chairperson and Honourable Members,

As we have alluded to earlier the Department continues to build and support building of new infrastructure to augment existing schemes and to develop new resources altogether for various uses: Some of these are the following:

  • In KwaZulu-Natal’s Mdloti Development Project, the raising of the  Hazelmere Dam wall at the initial cost of R528 million is progressing well. Realising the impact of the drought for the people of Kwazulu-Natal, we are pleased to announce that the impoundment date has been moved forward by 7 months to December 2016.
  • In Limpopo the following projects have been considered: Groot Letaba Water Augmentation Project (GLeWAP) 
  • Tzaneen Dam Wall Raising and the Construction of N’wa-Mitwa Dam in Mopani District Municipality of Limpopo. These projects are various stages of readiness.
  • Giyani Groundwater Augmentation and upgrade work on the Giyani waste water treatment plant, which is in a very bad state

Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG)

We will continue to support the building of water distribution infrastructure through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant to the total amount of over R5 billion for the 2016/17 financial year.

These projects support local government in bringing water from the source closer to the people such as the Presidential Intervention Project for Mthatha Town in King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape; the bulk water supply for the Moses Kotane Local Municipality and Rustenburg in the North-West; Jozini-Ingwavuma water project for the Jozini Local Municipality in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Other Regional Bulk Infrastructure Projects include the following, although this is not an exhaustive list:


Unlocking of bulk infrastructure development for both Lion’s Park and Syferfontein projects to provide housing and other related development, pending agreement between the City of Johannesburg and DWS. Both projects are expected to transform the area by providing jobs, bulk water and sanitation infrastructure and future industrial development.

Polokwane (Limpopo)

The intervention by the Department in the Polokwane Municipality will help unlock development which has been stifled due to water shortages as a result of drought and ageing infrastructure.

In this financial year, we will spend approximately R200 million towards replacement of an asbestos pipeline and completion of the boreholes project as immediate relief to the current crisis.

We will also put in place processes to upgrade the Olifantspoort and Ebenezer schemes as long-term solutions to integrate both current and focused demand.

Caledon River Pipeline (Free State)

Mangaung as the economic hub the Free State Province has been affected by serious water shortages, aggravated by the drought situation.

The Department has already commenced with feasibility studies working towards conveying water from Gariep Dam to Mangaung through the construction of the Caledon Bloemfontein portable water supply scheme. This study will look into the replacement of the existing asbestos pipeline which is more than a 100 years old and is causing high water losses through leaks.

In this financial year, we will commence with the 34 km bypass between Dehook and Brankop Reservoir. The remaining 73km pipeline will follow in the 2017/18 financial year after completion of feasibility studies. The pipeline will benefit the whole of the Mangaung Metro.

Nooitgedacht Low Water/Coega Scheme (Easter Cape)

We have directed Amatola Water Board to assist the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro with the implementation of the final and phase 3 of the Nooitgedacht Low Water/Coega Scheme.

The Scheme is intended to unlock water services provision for both social and economic development in the Coega region by constructing a 70 Mega litre/day treatment module of the Nooitgedacht Water Treatment Works (WTW) and a balancing storage reservoir at Oliohantskop reservoir site. Over 1.2 million consumers in around the Metro stand to benefit from the Scheme.

Lushushwane Bulk Water Supply (Mpumalanga)

The Lushushwane Bulk Water Supply in Mpumalanga Province within the Gert Sibande District Municipality is targeted to  be completed in August 2017 and the total project cost is R91 million.

The implementation of the project will improve the quality and quantity of water supplied to the existing and additional areas of Robinsdale, Bettys Goed, Smithfield, Aankomst, Hartbeeskop, Houtbosch, Oshoek and Lochiel Settlements and reduce water losses and unaccounted water.

Namakwa Bulk Water Supply (Northern Cape)

The replacement of Namakwa Bulk Water supply project in Northern Cape Province with the Namakwa District Municipality will cost R648 million to be completed. 42 500 people and approximately 11,500 households will benefit from the project upon completion. The Project is envisaged to be completed in May 2017. 

Mogalakwena Bulk Water Supply (Limpopo)

The Mogalakwena bulk water supply projects  in Limpopo Province within the Waterberg District Municipality will be implemented in the current financial year, the total project cost is R1 billion. 85 thousand households will benefit from the project. Some urban communities to benefits are Mahwelereng Units A, B & C Madiba East and Mokopane suburbs (residential & industrial).

Umkhomazi Water Project

The uMkhomazi Water Project is the next phase in the augmentation of the Mgeni System, which benefits more than six million people in the Umgeni Water area of supply, after the successful implementation of Phase 2 of the Mooi-Mgeni Transfer Scheme (“MMTS-2”) managed by TCTA. The feasibility study is nearing completion and the EIA process is underway and will be completed shortly.

International Water Cooperation: Water Knows No Boundaries

Chairperson and Honourable Members,

In 2015, South Africa signed strategic agreements with Zimbabwe, Denmark, and Sweden.

These agreements will go a long way in providing water security, building capacity of the state through innovation, research and development and enhancing the water mix of the country on ground water technologies, water treatment technologies, and water management.

This financial year, TCTA and the China Construction Communication Company (CCCC) will finalise the funding model suitable for the Umzimvubu project with the assistance of the National Treasury.

In April 2016 we signed the agreement of cooperation on water resources and management with Iran. This agreement will enhance our cooperation on desalination technologies, capacitating of our engineers in dam safety and operations and maintenance. 

Drought has not only affected South Africa alone but the rest of Southern African. In this regard, Botswana as the chair of Southern African Development Community (SADC) will be calling a meeting of water Ministers aimed at finding a regional solution to the challenges of drought and climate change. 

Closing remarks

The saying that “nothing about us, without us” holds true; and the value of public participation and social mobilization lies in accountability and transparency between government and the public.

Government cannot find solutions to the challenges of the communities on its own, but working together with communities we can succeed to improve delivery of services. To this end, the Department has established 77 water and sanitation forums in communities across the country.

As part of government campaign to inform the communities, 87 Community engagements were held and this ensured that communities were informed on  drought issues and water use efficiency as well as water harvesting and conservation.

Pursuant to our programme to develop women entrepreneurs we shall, in August, during the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s march, be launching the Women in Water Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme with its first cohort of Mentees - Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi!

As I mentioned before, ours is a mandate that we are very intent on bringing to life. I therefore wish to take this time to thank the Deputy Minister, the Honourable Chair and Members of the Portfolio Committee, the Director-General, Senior Management and staff of the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Entities and Water and Sanitation Sector Partners for all their continued invaluable support.

Chairperson and Honourable Members, we will always value your oversight and demand for accountability. Ours is to do what we have to, but remain conscious of the confines and parameters of the relevant legislation. The achievements of our government, guided by the Constitution, the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan remain paramount.

As we move forward to grapple with the challenges in water and sanitation in South Africa let us take leaf from what the United Nation proclaimed: Water is critical for sustainable development; including environmental integrity and the alleviation of poverty and hunger, and is indispensable for human health and well-being.”

Water has no substitute. 

Dankie. Ngiyabonga


Budget Debate Speech by Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms Pamela Tshwete on The Occasion of Budget Vote 36 

Honourable Speaker
Deputy President of the Republic
Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Honourable Chairperson and Members of the Portfolio Committee
Honourable Members of Parliament
Chairpersons of Water Boards and other Water Entities
Chief Executives of Water Boards and other Water Sector Entities
Chairpersons of Water and Sanitation Community Forums
Honoured Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. Introduction

1.1. The history of South Africa has been a history of racial segregation and separate development. The provision of municipal services before 1994 was only restricted to white areas.

1.2. In the black residential areas, services such as water and sanitation were provided through communal taps and toilet facilities whilst in the rural areas black people were to provide for themselves from the unprotected river sources.

1.3. Honourable Speaker allow me to join many South Africans in saluting the heroic struggles waged by Women in this country against many Apartheid Laws as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the historic march to the Union Building in 1956.

1.4.Honourable Speaker also allow me to also honour the class of 1976 students who rose their voices against the Bantu Education system as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary struggles by the young people who defied bullets and death unleashed on them by the deadly Apartheid regime.

1.5.Noting that this is the month of workers, this budget Honourable Speaker has accordingly been crafted to focus on the empowerment and development of the working class, the youth and women in our country.

1.6. It is meant to respond more to the social transformation of both rural and urban communities through the creation of much needed jobs and sustainable water services.

1.7. Budgets Honourable Members must be understood as tools for planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation in the process to facilitate and provide decent services equally and equitably to society.

  1. 2015 / 2016 Financial Year Highlights

2.1. In the last financial year the Department assembled women in Gauteng from the length and breadth of our country to engage them on mechanisms and strategies in the development of water and sanitation infrastructure. These women represented planners in government, public representatives, community based organisation, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, women in water and sanitation and the business sector. These women are now working with the Department as part of the Women Incubator Programme.

2.2. Honourable Speaker I am pleased to report in this House that the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation will be presenting the Water Research Commission with the 2016 Water Award, for outstanding commitment to providing sustainable access to water resource,  water supply and sanitation in South Africa on 30 June 2016.

2.3.Once again in the last financial year we held a very successful National Youth Summit at Birchwood in Johannesburg which was attended by more than 1000 delegates representing educators, learners, young water and sanitation professionals, youth service organisations, water and sanitation ambassadors and the business sector.

2.4. The Cooperation and Collaboration of the Department with various provinces, municipalities and the business sector ensured continued provision of water in areas that were severely affected by the drought especially in KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State.

2.5. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, has now called on municipalities to set aside up to eight percent of their operational budgets for the maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure.

2.6. We have always maintained that government cannot work alone and to that effect we are grateful for the citizenship that has been displayed by various Business Partners in providing relief to drought stricken areas of our country. Operation Hydrate has to date supplied over 3 million litres of drinking water to various communities at Peddie in the Eastern Cape and in Winburg in the Free State.

2.7. Also Business Partners in the construction industry have made undertaking to contribute to skills development in the water sector as part of youth empowerment.

2.8. In partnership with Business Partners once again we have exposed and connected more than 3500 learners and 100 educators into the latest technology. The following schools were the winners in 2015:





Mmulakgoro Primary School

Media Classroom

R 10 000. 00


Free State

Zibungu Junior Secondary School

Media Classroom

R 10 000. 00

Praise Poetry

Eastern Cape

Reilmoletswe Primary School

Media Classroom

R 10 000. 00



Izwilesizwe Primary School

Media Classroom

R 10 000. 00


KwaZulu Natal

Amstelhof Primary School

Media Classroom

R 10 000. 00


Western Cape

2.9. The Civil Society Partnerships established during the last financial year resulted in the development of Water and Sanitation Community Forums in 21 of the 27 distressed Municipalities. This work will continue in this financial year. These Forums will be underpinned by common Terms of Reference adopted at a national level.

2.10.Through our newly established Water and Sanitation Hotline, members of the public will have a central point where they can access information and register water and sanitation service challenges.

2.11. The Hotline will ensure speedy response and improved customer satisfaction levels. The Toll Free Number is 0800 200 200 and the SMS Number is 45174 and is accessible between 06am and 10pm weekdays and 08am to 04pm on weekends.

2.12. The War on Leaks Programme was launched in Nelson Mandela Bay on August 2015 and currently has about 3000 trainees that are in the system as plumbers, water agents and artisans. At the beginning the project experienced some challenges which included the following:

  • There were long distances between the training facilities and areas of residence of some trainees 
  • Trainee recruitment was based on responses received from the national advertisements.
  • The recruitment of trainees was not aligned to priority municipalities.
  • Some trainees confused this training with employment.

2.13.These have since been resolved and our recent visit to Mpumalanga has shown that both the administration and trainees in the facilities are happy that the Minister and the Honourable State President brought this War on Leaks Training Programme.

  1. Global Strategic Engagements

3.1. The Department in its quest to deliver water and sanitation to our people, considered the importance of forging relations with strategic global partners as they are critical to advance not only South Africa's own development needs but also to alleviate domestic challenges encountered by our region.

3.2. In the past financial year the department prioritised engagements based on Foreign Strategic Policy of the country lead by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. These were interventions to share expertise, transfer skills, technology, share notes and collaborate on multilateral platforms and invest in the water sector development programmes.

3.3. Some of the active, successful result bearing engagements are with, China, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Iran, Italy Cuba. Through these partnerships, South Africa’s Water and Sanitation sector will enhance and broaden our scope on water mix and maximise the use of ground water.

3.4. The expertise from the different countries also contribute immensely in providing different perspectives in areas including protection and management of water infrastructure and facilities, water treatment technologies, including water planning and governance.

3.5. We are happy to report that this multilateral participation at the highest level will allow South Africa to influence the Global agenda and narrative on Water, and further enhance the Africa position derived from Agenda 2063 and our own National Development Plan and its related indicators and priorities.


4.1. The quality of water services operations in the South Africa is reflected in the blue and green results. Most municipalities are now active participants in the Blue Drop certification and Green Drop assessments of the potable water and waste water.

4.2. The quality of drinking water has significantly improved for the better and the management of the waste water has greatly reduced raw sewer spillages into the rivers. This has been done through the rehabilitation of the waste water treatment plants across the country.

4.3. Where the Cumulative Risk Rating for municipalities is still high, these municipalities are supported to improve performance through funding and technical advice.


5.1. The recent drought conditions in the country mobilised all the Water Services Authorities to audit their infrastructure to plan for improved infrastructure and use of modern technology in the water provision and sanitation services.

5.2. The Department currently have detailed water and sanitation services needs and plans integrated into the 2016/2017 financial year budget plans. These are also accompanied with the new technological innovations.

For example the Department together with the departments of Energy and COGTA visited two pilot sites where an Integrated Waste Water Treatment and Reuse Package Plant Technology is being piloted.  These pilot projects are in the Sundays River Valley (Sarah Baartman) and Inxuba Yethemba (Chris Hani) Municipalities.

5.2.1. This new Integrated Waste Water Treatment and Reuse Package Technological System has an instant use capability which enables it to directly discharge water that helps to replenish the natural water resource.

5.2.2. Secondly this available water resource from this new technology could now be used for irrigation, community landscaping, construction and fire fighting.

5.2.3. Thirdly the available water resource could be pumped back into the households for toilet flushing, house cleaning, car wash, gardening and urban farming.

5.3. The drought mitigating strategies also included new campaigns such as Drop a Block Product which is based on the principle of dispensing just enough water to enable the flushing of the toilets instead of using 9 litres of water to flush.

5.4. The Drop a Block Product reduces the amount of water used per household, the money spent on water bills, the impact of cleaning water for potable use and the cost of getting water to consumers.

5.5.  This product has resulted in annual potable water saving of more than 5000 litres per household. The pilot of this technique has further assisted 2000 households in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.

5.6.  In our continued engagements with municipalities, we have observed that there still some communities located very far from water sources especially in the rural areas and informal settlements.

5.7. In these communities many people carry water to their homes often over long distances, pay heavy fees for the transportation and this has proved to be time consuming especially to the girl child.

5.8. In dealing with this challenge of burdening communities with the provision of water from the dams, rivers and central water taps, the Department has introduced Water on Wheels Technologies.

5.9.  The Department will invest effort and resources in the provision of technologies such as wheelbarrows fitted with water containers, hippo water rollers and others. These will be distributed in partnership with the municipalities.

5.10. All consumers need to be conscious of the consequences of their actions with regard to water use. These are some of the Water Saving Tips. We must fix leaking taps, reuse water for flushing toilets and gardening, collect water from rain, plant indigenous plants and do not leave taps running when brushing teeth.

5.11. Last year, the Government set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to develop strategies to mitigate the country’s worst drought in more than 20 years. The Inter-Ministerial-Committee on Water Scarcity and Drought is headed by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and is supported by Water and Sanitation, Environmental Affairs, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Rural Development and Land Reform.

5.12. The Inter-Ministerial-Committee has been able to provide drought relief funds on water-stressed areas implement drought measures, avail water through water tankering and drilling of boreholes, and to raise awareness about water conservation.

5.13. The Inter-Ministerial-Committee has been able to clarify that drought is a natural phenomenon not controlled by anyone. In fact, we do not know when the drought will dissipate, we know only that it has forced Government to urgently attend to the demand for water, infrastructure constraints, review innovative options for water schemes and storage, and aid under-capacitated municipalities that are unable to meet the service delivery requirements of their communities. We appreciate the fact that the Inter-Ministerial-Committee’s response to drought relief programmes has exceeded one billion rand.

5.14. The Department of Water and Sanitation has reprioritised more than half a billion rand to provide water, protect natural springs and refurbish boreholes in response to the drought.

5.15. The Department of Agriculture has offered drought relief funding to the tune of R381 million rand especially since the water shortage has an impact on national food security and job creation.

5.16. The Department of Environmental Affairs has waged a strong battle to contain the effects of climate change, effects that cannot necessarily be reversed, but which we must constantly be aware of.

5.17. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has embarked on projects related to rehabilitation of productive land and through these projects has ensured job creation and greater food security.

  1. 2016/2017 BUDGET FOCUS

6.1. Presently, the Department is collating consolidated data on the water and sanitation services backlogs in the country. In this financial year all District Municipalities in the country will be engaged to collect this data and avail budgeted plans for infrastructure development. This data collection will be done through interactions in meetings with District Municipalities and Provinces. This will be used in the development of the Water and Sanitation Plans.

6.2. This will be coupled with provincial water and sanitation Conferences. These Conferences will be platforms to continuously share the vision of the Department and mobilise districts to work together with local municipalities and other stakeholders in their jurisdiction.

6.3. In these Conferences together with the Water Research Commission and Water Boards, the Department will allow new partners in the water and sanitation space to showcase and present new technologies in the market that could assist in alleviating water and sanitation challenges.

6.4. The 2020 Vision for Water and Sanitation Programme aimed at educating schools about water conservation, sanitation and promotion of water sector careers will be enhanced. Provinces will be required to demonstrate their footprint of this project in each local municipality.

6.5. To date the Department has reached over 5000 schools. Of these 1500 are actively participants in the water saving mechanisms and 75 are water project schools, specifically dealing with water and sanitation access, health and hygiene, greening, water quality and quantity.

6.6.The War on Leaks Programme aimed at eradicating water leaks whilst creating jobs for the youth will in this financial year take in additional 7000 trainees into the system. The 3000 trainees who were part of the 2015 intake will be placed in training institutions closer to their homes and in service training be arranged with their local municipalities.

6.7. The Adopt a River Project aimed at addressing pollution in the rivers whilst empowering women through job creation and skills development will be sourced with resources such as personnel that will oversee the project implementation and with funding for provisioning of the project.

6.8. This project will be assisted to work with communities, municipalities and the Departmental regional offices in the cleaning of rivers.

6.9. In 2016 all our efforts will be directed at mitigating the severe drought conditions that have been experienced recently. The Department will ensure that the challenges of water and sanitation are tackled by all caring and freedom loving South Africans going forward.

6.10.In 2016, the Integrated Waste Water Treatment and Reuse Package Plant Technology that is deployed in Sundays River Valley and Chris Hani municipalities will be closely monitored. This will be selectively expanded across the country to other municipalities in distress as part of piloting the technology, whilst mitigating challenges faced by these municipalities.

6.11. Through these new technologies, the department must ensure that youth and women are absorbed into the mainstream of the economic activities and trained to operate and maintain these technologies. 

6.12. The Department of Water and Sanitation has put plans in place with all provinces to ensure that infrastructure constraints are unplugged, municipalities are supported, and that the people have water.  Minister and I have experienced the fact that water is a powerful cross-cutter and that without water there can be no life.

6.13. The economy will be developed by creating more jobs through infrastructure projects that the department will unfold in areas such as:

  • Construction and rehabilitation pipelines.
  • Raising of old dams.
  • Upgrading of old and construction of new waste water treatment works
  • Upgrading of existing and construction of bulk water supply
  • Expansion of old and construction of new water works
  • Deployment of new technologies in the fields of waste water treatment and water treatment works

6.14. These infrastructure development projects will be consolidated with communities through functional Water and Sanitation Community Forums in Municipalities and similar developmental Forums at a provincial level for immediate implementation.

  1. In conclusion

7.1.As part of ongoing partnership with civil society, the department would like to thank all organisations who collaborated with in the various programmes

7.2. Some of these civil society organisations worked hard and brought humanitarian relief to drought affected communities.

7.3.Some of these organisations, assisted in the development of skills so much required in the resolution of many barriers in the provision of water and sanitation services.

7.4.These were voluntary services and in that regard, we express our sincere gratitude.

7.5.Honourable Speaker, please allow me to thank the Minister, the Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Members of the Portfolio Committee for guidance and support throughout the year as we were implementing the operational plans of the Department.

7.6.Lastly let me thank the Departmental officials and those in the Municipalities for their cooperation at all times and continuous technical support and advice in our work when our country witnessed water shortages in a number of dams and schemes especially in significantly affected provinces such as KwaZulu Natal, Free State and the North West.

I support the budget. Thank you



Budget Vote Speech by Hon Lulu Johnson ANC- Committee Chair on Water and Sanitation

Fellow South Africans

Today, marks yet another milestone in the history of our democracy through this budget, whose sole aim is that of taking our country forward.

We gather to re-commit ourselves to yet another step in the direction of improving the lives of our People for the better.

As the ANC, we stand ready to put the interests of our People at the centre of our programs as demanded by our historical mission of serving our People.

For these reasons above, as the ANC we endorse the R15, 2 Billion budget for 2016/7.

Fellow South Africans

Water remains basic Human right as it is enshrined in our Constitution.

Fellow South Africans

The journey towards the provision of safe drinking water and dignified sanitation became one of the priorities of the new ANC led Government in 1994.

I must say that this journey was a painful one as some died, whilst others were forcefully exiled and jailed. Lest we forget!

It is the same journey that continuously prioritises the vulnerable human groups: the aged, women, children and disabled.


This august House must be on a constant reminder that the water provision before 1994 stood at 60 odd%, and we can today pride ourselves that this figure has since been reduced tremendously, through the strides of the ANC interventions, which today stands at around 10%.

Bantu base Njerere (Limpopo), Lamontville (eThekwini), Vergenoeg (Cradock)

President Nelson Mandela once said "let there be work, bread, water and salt for all".

It seems as if Madiba knew that one day some amongst us would go against the wishes of the masses. This begs the question to those who are against this budget vote, who do they really represent?

Fellow South Africans, be warned about who do you support with your X, as some in this House are openly saying `no to this budget`, a budget whose intention is to improve the lives of ordinary people, `Coloured`, Indians, Africans, poor White compatriots, the disabled, the Youth and the Women.

This budget equally seeks to provide opportunities for Black Industrialists to thrive, yet some of us in this very House of Parliament are saying a BIG NO to this progressive budget.


The purpose of Budget Vote 36 is to ensure the availability of water resources, facilitate equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, and to ensure that the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality are addressed through water and sanitation services.

Mense van Mitchells Plein, Galeshiwe, People of Wentworth, Bantu base Zwide

These services must be positioned to be at the centre of social and economic activities of our people.

The recently launched War on Leaks campaign has started yielding some results through raising of awareness among our communities about the need of saving water and protection of our infrastructure.

This campaign has started contributing immensely in changing the livelihoods of young People in our Country. This bears testimony that the ANC led government cares.

As this Campaign garners shape, embedded in it must be an earnest programme of maintenance and protection of our infrastructure, aged or otherwise.

Comrade Minister

There is a general consensus across the political landscape that this is a balanced budget fit for its occasion.

This budget is 3.2% less than the 2015/16 appropriation (R15.7 billion). However, more can be still be done with less, and this is evident in the way in which this Vote sets out to address current South African water and sanitation
needs. The current needs range from access to water and sanitation services; Protection of water resources from pollution and over-exploitation; Water demand management; Drought relief; and Infrastructure Development and Management.

Bantu base Khayelitsha, O R Tambo, Madibeng and Botshabelo

StatsSA General Household Survey of 2014 and Institute of Race Relations (2016) South African Survey tell us that 90% of households now have access to piped water in 2014 which is an improvement from 79.9 per cent in 1996.
Indeed, South Africa drinks from the tap.

On the other hand, access to RDP standard sanitation stood at 79.5% in 2014 which is an improvement from 16.5% in 1996. This means that only 10 per cent of the households lack access to piped water and 20% of households lack access to RDP standard sanitation.

In order to improve household access to water and sanitation services - we look forward to ending of bucket toilets, replaced with dignified sanitation services in the formal areas during this financial year.

In addition, 1552 rainwater harvesting tanks will be provided to various households while interim basic water supply will be provided to 90 000 households across the country.

Again, who in His/Her right mind would vote against such a revolutionary Vote? That person or Party does not care about you, the communities and households of Tshwane, Majakaneng, Mannenburg, Vembe, Pongolo from benefitting from these programmes towards changing your lives for the better.

DA members here and out there

This Budget Vote seeks to redress the injustice of the past in the area of access to water and sanitation services.

Batho bako North West, bako Free State, KZN, Mpumalanga le Limpopo

South Africa is in the midst of its worst drought in at least two decades, threatening agricultural output, pushing up food prices and causing water supply shortages.

With an additional R500 Million to be administered by DAFF and RDLF is another confirmation that this Vote seeks nothing else but ensuring the availability of water resources, universal access to water and sanitation services as well as facilitating the equitable and sustainable socio-economic development.

Members and supporters of eff and DA

Did you give your leaders a mandate to object to this budget, a budget that seeks to improve your lives for the better?

Director General

In terms of Infrastructure Development and Management, it is worth noting that 78% of the total budget of this Vote will be spent on infrastructure development. This infrastructure would ensure access to reliable, sustainable and quality water to 192 000 households and 26 865 rural households would also access to sanitation. This infrastructure development would mainly be funded through Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG), the Accelerated Community

Infrastructure Programme (ACIP), and the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG). Some of the projects that are worth mentioning are the completion of the Xonxa Dam water supply to Lukhanji municipality in Eastern Cape; raising the Clanwilliam Dam wall in the Western Cape; construction of pipelines for the Olifants River water development project in Limpopo, among others

Young People and Business Men and Women of our Country

In addition to provision of water and sanitation services the infrastructure development programmes will also create thousands of temporary and permanent job opportunities across the country. These programmes would also impart various skills to the local communities wherein these projects are implemented.

These skills would enable these communities to join the mainline job market and some even become independent contractors for their local municipalities and communities. These are some of the benefits that would accrue to you Young People and Business Persons of our beautiful South Africans through the adoption of this budget Vote.

Minister and DG

In so doing, you shall have done a great deal in helping these Black Businesses thrive.

But, when you do such and NOT pay them in time, you are killing them, thereby reversing the gains we are making in promoting such Black Businesses.

The focus of this Vote over the medium term will be on massive policy reviews in order to align water policies with the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014 -2019 priorities, amongst others. For example the NDP calls for the removal of all legislative impediments to development such as water use license time frames or turnaround time. In response to this, 80 per cent of water use authorisation applications will be processed within 300 working days from the date of receipt. This would ensure equitable allocation of water resources for social and economic development.

Minister and Deputy Minister

As the Committee whose task is to oversee your work, we shall indeed play our role more robustly this time around.

The review of legislation would also ensure the establishment of the remaining seven catchment management agencies (CMA) and nine regional water utilities. This would in turn improve efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of water and sanitation services. The strengthened legislation would provide for monitoring programmes for drinking water quality, wastewater quality and mini water quality. The monitoring would also assist with compliance and enforcement of water and wastewater quality standards which would in turn improve the protection of water resources from pollution from mine water and partially treated wastewater. For example the green drop and blue drop programmes are some of the regulation based programmes.

In conclusion, as the ANC, we look forward to the implementation of your APP and Strategic Plan despite the reduction in budget.

All the programmes that make up this Vote are geared towards ensuring the availability of water resources, facilitate equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, and ensuring universal access to water and sanitation services. For example the international agreements that are supported through various commissions such as Lesotho Highland Water Project.

It is also suffice to quote the French proverb that says Rome was not built in one day - this proverb sums it well that with time all shall be served with enough good quality water and dignified sanitation services.

However it will not happen overnight, that`s why in 1996 few households had access to piped water but today 90 per cent of the total households in South Africa have access to piped water.

It is the 10 per cent that this Vote seeks to satisfy while maintaining the access of the 90 per cent households.

President Madiba taught us well that, what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

Lulu Johnson

Budget Vote Debate- Extended Public Committee National Assembly Inkosi RN Cebekhulu, IFP MP

Honourable Chairperson,

As this Department is a new department and has the added function of delivering sanitation services, and as South Africa is still in the midst of a water and sanitation crisis, we would have expected the department to have received a greater budget.

Drought conditions continue to ravage our country. Our dams are at critically low levels. Livestock and agricultural produce are suffering. We have had to import millions of tonnes of maize just to ensure sufficient food security levels for our people over the coming months.

Yet we are not being pro-active about maintaining the little water we do have. Alien plants exist in abundance and research advises they consume inordinate amounts of water. We continue to pollute our surface water and the fact that we are even considering ‘fracking’ which could pollute our entire underground water table, is just ludicrous.

Mines are another source of large scale water pollution. We have been warning this government about the dangers of acid mine water for years now, only to be met with ridicule from Ministers and Departments. Well now we have a serious problem and no effective solution to deal with it.

Another grave source of pollution is from our local municipalities who are failing dismally at the maintenance, upkeep and management of sewage pipes which often burst and lead to waste effluent entering our streams and rivers. This contributes greatly to both human and livestock illnesses.

Honourable Chairperson, why is it that we do not maximize and conserve the water we have? Precious water is simply allowed to flow into the sea. Why are we not building more dams?

This Department also has the responsibility of building or funding the building of bulk water reservoirs to assist local municipalities with the storage of water.

Without water business cannot prosper. Water is key in terms of agricultural irrigation which is the leading sector in water usage followed by mining and industry and then human beings. Water is life, yet it is not being prioritized and safeguarded by government.

Greater planning, oversight and accountability will ensure proper service delivery.

The Inkatha freedom Party supports the budget vote debate.

I thank you.

The ANC government is stripping South Africa of its life and dignity: Leon Basson DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation

Water is Life.
Sanitation is dignity.

This is the slogan of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

To achieve this, South Africa needs:

A government that is committed to upholding the Constitution and placing the people of South Africa first.

A government that is transparent, and capable to effectively spend their budget as well as maintaining, upgrading and where necessary creating new infrastructure to deliver quality water and sanitation.

Chairperson, if we had an honest and transparent government it would not have been necessary to bring a PAIA application to release the Blue and Green Drop reports.

The 2014 Green Drop report is shocking. 824 Sewer plants were assessed, receiving 5000 million litres of sewer per day. These plants are designed to clean 6500 million liters of sewer daily.

In short, there is only 22% capacity available for future demand. In reality, many plants have no surplus capacity and are running at full or over capacity.

According to the 2014 Green Drop Report, 84 % of sewer plants are in Critical Risk, High Risk or Medium Risk with only 16 % of sewer plants in Low Risk. This implies that millions of liters of untreated or inadequately treated sewer are illegally discharged into rivers and streams every day.

82% of South Africa’s rivers are considered threatened by pollution.

This is the result of non- compliance to Monitoring and Enforcement as set out by the Blue Scorpions. In a written reply from the minister, she indicated that only 85 of the 177 posts are filled and no officials have yet been designated as Environmental Management Inspectors in terms of the National Environmental Management Act.

Chairperson, Chapter 1 of the Water Act empowers the Minister to act on behalf of the nation and it is the Minister’s ultimate responsibility to fulfil certain obligations relating to the use, allocation and protection of, and access to water resources. This is a Constitutional mandate and therefore Minister Mokonyane should be criminally charged for allowing the pollution of our rivers, streams and ground water.

In a report by Action Aid it is noted that more than R 300-billion must be allocated for spending on infrastructure to avoid a full-scale water crisis over the next four years.

Currently only R11,6 billion is budgeted for this need with a shortfall of R 63,4 billion in this financial year.

Despite the huge challenges in infrastructure funding, this department, agreed with National Treasury to reduce their budget by R827 million.

Why? The answer is simple. They knew that they would once again underspend in the financial year, as they did with R2 billion in the 2014/15 financial year and lost R1,6 billion that was not rolled over to the 2015/16 financial year.

The continued non-spending of allocated funds has had a knock-on effect and infrastructure projects need to be rescheduled year after year. The backlog is becoming increasing significantly under this Government.

ANC Municipalities and Water Boards owe the Department of Water and Sanitation R2,9 billion and the latter has sought assistance from COGTA to recover this money from municipalities. Should this money not be recovered, the budget have to be revised downwards again.

It is important to note that no money is owed to the Department of Water and Sanitation by DA controlled Municipalities.

For this reason, it is no surprise that 9 out of the top 10 municipalities are governed by the DA and the 10 worst municipalities governed by the ANC.

The DA acknowledges that South Africa has made progress in the access of fresh water to our people, but this trend is rapidly reversing due to crumbling infrastructure under ANC control.

Chairperson, 12 months after Madibeng was placed under administration, and 6 months after I informed this house in November last year, the horror story that the ANC never will tell, is still continuing.

This old lady, Johanna Nkgweng who lives in a township called Lethlabile in Madibeng which ironically means “place of water” is still rolling a 200 liter drum full of water from a borehole 2 kilometers from her house where she had running water just more than 2 years ago. Half of her pension goes towards paying for this water.

She is one of millions of South Africans who struggle without water not because of the drought, but because of poor infrastructure, corruption and mismanagement by ANC-run municipalities.

South Africa, on the 3rd of August you will have 2 choices:

Stick to this government, and be part of the worst run municipalities in South Africa suffering without water.

Or, Vote DA that will bring change to your Municipality, that will deliver quality services that you deserve.

Minister Mokonyane’s only super power is inefficiency: Tarnia Baker DA

Madam chair, when examining the performance and budget of this department, the words of Robert Burns come to mind, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. You see honourable members, the ability to plan is not a problem in the DWS, the implementation of these plans appears to be this department’s Achilles Heel.

Gauteng has been plagued by regular water shortages for the past two years now.  Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project is being hailed as the panacea which will put an end to these shortages. All well and good, but this project should have been completed in 2018 at a cost of under R10 billion, but the targeted date has now been moved to 2024, at a total cost upward of R20 billion. This means that Gauteng residents will have an additional 6 years of further water cuts.

The raising of the Hazelmere Dam Wall Project is another story of delays. This project was first approved in 2011 with a budget of R91 million. We are told that construction has now commenced, with an increased budget of, wait for it, R359 million with no fixed completion target date as yet!

Further inland we have the Umzinyathi District and the story of a 36km pipeline project which is to pump water from the Craigieburn Dam to the town of Greytown.

The completed target date is currently three years late, with a new date set for July 2017.

First conceived in 2008, agreements were only finalised in 2014; construction began in 2015. Initial budget R290 million, and currently? R500 million.

Let’s move further afield to a province plagued by the most violent service delivery protests, Limpopo. Over a period of more than ten years, the Mopani District spent approximately R500 million to repair water infrastructure, and yet still the problems persist.

In August 2014, the Wonder Woman Minister of WS arrived to declare that an end to the water woes of the people of Mopani was in sight! A task team was formed and a budget of R96,4 million was allocated. Within just three months this budget escalated to R 502,6 million! How in the world???

And yet, honourable members, sadly, the water woes of Limpopo, just like the budget, have also escalated to an intolerable level.

The Bucket eradication programme, is another story of deadlines missed, over and over again. First initiated in 2005, 91% of the targeted 252 254 toilets was achieved by the end of March 2008.

A remarkable achievement in just 3 years by the ANC government of that time. The remaining 9 % should have been a walk in the park. Fast forward to 2016, and here we sit with a budget of R975 million and a backlog of 88 000 bucket toilets in formal settlements alone. How in the world is this even possible?

Green Drop Reports: Now here’s a disaster for you, 66% of the country’s assessed Waste Water Treatment plants are currently listed as being in critical condition!

The top ten best performing plants which scored 95% and above are found in the Western Cape followed by KZN. Gauteng received a mere 5 Green Drop awards, but the biggest shocker is Tshwane where none of the plants received a Green Drop award. Not even one!!

Top performing Metro, City of Cape Town. No surprise, because where the DA governs, we govern well!

Now let’s just consider for a moment the impact the current drought has had on ordinary South Africans.

The department’s response to this disaster can best be described as lackadaisical, in most cases only taking action after the damage was already done. Much too little much too late.

We have reports of over 627 towns and 47 dams which ran out of water over the past year alone.

I put it to you honourable members, fellow South Africans, that just like the president, so too has the minister of Water and Sanitation violated the rights of millions of ordinary South Africans by failing to ensure that they have access to water, and just like the president, she too should be brought to task for this flagrant negligence to protect and uphold the Constitution of our country.

South Africa, the time for change is now. Bring on 3 August, the DA is ready to govern, Siyeza!!!!!







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