Minister of Water and Sanitation Budget Speech, response by ANC, IFP, GOOD, & EFF


23 Jul 2020

Minister of Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, gave her Budget Vote Speech on the 23 July 2020


Address by L N Sisulu, MP, Minister for Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation on the occasion of the Debate on the Water and Sanitation Budget Vote (41) in the National Assembly

Honourable Members,
Acting Director-General, Heads of Provincial Departments and Other officials
Members of Boards of Water and Sanitation Entities
Ladies and Gentlemen.

I would like to use this opportunity to pay a special tribute to an outstanding leader, a moral compass, a man of passionate commitment to the liberation of all the people of our country. A man who gave the best part of his life to the realisation of these freedoms that we enjoy. A man who represented all the values of a cadre of the African National Congress. A man who was a member of this House and therefore a former colleague of many of us, Andrew Mlangeni.

In the last days of his life he asked for nothing more than this: that he should be remembered as one of those who brought us our democracy. We have a responsibility to live up to the ideals that he fought for. Ideals of integrity and intolerance of corruption. We are enjoined to ensure that we live up to his sacrifices and remove corruption from every corner of this government, especially this Department. This is the ideal of an ethical society that he gave up the better part of his life for and I will, in my Departments, make sure that we will be counted, finally as having responded to his lifelong dedication to the freedom that we enjoy.

The last of our Rivonia Trialists. The end of an era. And now the responsibility rests on us to give back to society the democracy we enjoy today, by having an ethical government, led with integrity. This is the only way we can pay back for the huge sacrifice of his generation. In his honour I hope there will be dedicated legislation that clearly indicates what the fundamentals of this democracy means. A government that leads with integrity and complete intolerance of corruption.

I have been in this portfolio for just over a year. As I indicated during the Budget Vote delivery last year, the induction into the sector was heavy and intense, given the magnitude of the work at hand. When we came in we found a Department that no longer enjoyed the confidence of the people it served, having been eroded by a number of cases of corruption. In essence I was told I inherited a bankrupt Department with problems accumulated over many years. In summary, this is what the Portfolio Committee instructed me to do in the debate: “sort out this Department and its finances”.

We have dedicated a great deal of time in doing just that and because that which was done is of such magnitude, we have created a report to hand out to Members. A great deal has been done by the senior officials in the Department, led by the acting Director-General Mbulelo Tshangana, various entities in the Department, notably Rand Water and the Water Research Commission, my esteemed Panels of Advisers and the many hardworking officials.

For now I’ll give you a summary of what has been achieved. A great deal of work has been put into this.

The first thing we did was to put in place a Water Master Plan, which embodies the policies and infrastructure designs to render to South Africa the water security for generations to come. This was completed within six months after I took office. It is an outstanding document that has been hailed as a strategic piece of work which has the world’s attention and, with its release, is something of which South Africa can be very proud. We launched the Master Plan so that by the time it is brought to Cabinet and Parliament it is as representative of the views of all stakeholders.  I am extremely grateful for the supportive work done by my Panel of Advisers.

I need to report that the Sanitation Panel has also worked very hard within very limited time and concluded the Sanitation Master Plan in a record time. My congratulations to them for a job well done.

We have used this time in getting responses to the Master Plan to run a parallel programme to restructure the Department. We would like the structure to respond to the principles of good governance and the Master Plan, ensure fitness for purpose and stabilisation of the department. We sought and received assistance from the Department of Public Service and Administration with regards to a restructuring exercise that will ensure all critical posts are duly identified and filled. We have to also ensure that especially at Top Management level, all incumbents are truly fit for purpose because that is the core of the delivery of the department’s mandate. That exercise has been completed and since the beginning of the current financial year, we are in the process of stabilising the department accordingly.

This process of the review includes a framework on how existing employees of the Department will be accommodated in the Department’s new organisational structure, ensuring a fair and transparent process that protects the jobs of all employees who qualify. The implementation of the structure and supporting policies will go a long way in improving the efficiency of the Department and the management and governance of the water sector as a whole.

The structure has been signed off and will be submitted to the Minister for the Public Service and Administration for his concurrence. This will ensure that we have a structure that responds to the Master Plan and the demands of a Department as crucial as this one. These will be rolled out as soon as our budget is approved by all Honourable Members here, because I would like to believe that none of you would like to deny our people the access to water – their source of life, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic, where water has proved to be so essential.

We have heeded your calls to root out corruption in the Department and we will report on this. In order not to destabilise the Department as we root out corruption, acting Director-General Tshangana established a Stabilisation Committee so that, as we put all our programmes in place, the Department will be stable going into the next phase. Within the Committee is a disciplinary unit that is dealing with 166 cases, emanating from the Auditor-General’s Annual reports over a number of years. These cases are in an advanced stage and ongoing as we put in place the necessary support structures to ensure there is no disruption of the work of the Department.

The Committee is taking disciplinary action against officials who are implicated in Forensic Investigation Reports as per the recommendations that were made in those reports. The outcomes of such cases following disciplinary action are as follows: 97 officials were found guilty; 16 officials were not found guilty and 24 officials resigned.

On assuming office as Minister of Water and Sanitation, I was informed that the amount of irregular and wasteful expenditure amounted to R16 billion and this amount was revised upwards to an amount of R31 billion. I have ordered investigations into these matters. Here the Stabilisation Committee served well to ensure that as we proceed with disciplinary cases, the work of the Department continues.

I have also ordered investigations into the affairs of the Lepelle Northern Water Board in Limpopo, the Amatola Water Board in the Eastern Cape, while a third investigation is underway at Sedibeng Water Board. In the course of the investigations, the Boards of Lepelle and Amatola Water placed their Chief Executive Officers on suspension and have now commenced with a disciplinary process against them. Both executives have received their charges and dates for the hearings have been set during the month of August.

I considered all the findings and recommendation from the investigations and decided to pursue civil and criminal charges against those implicated in unlawful and corrupt conduct at Amatola and Lepelle, i.e. the CEOs.  

The reports from the departmental investigators into the affairs of both CEOs have been handed over to law enforcement agencies. In both cases we are joined by a number of law enforcement agencies, including the NPA and the Public Protector, while the SIU is continuing a number of investigations at Lepelle. Both the Boards of Amatola and Lepelle have been placed under administration to ensure that we can stabilise them as we continue with the cases.

The work of the SIU, the Hawks and the whole justice system will assist the Department to find closure on all these matters, ensuring that all officials understand that corruption will no longer be tolerated. The Auditor-General has always complained about the lack of consequence management with the Department. We are now saying there is consequence management and we hope this will filter through, also to the service providers who corrupt. We want to send a public message that we are cleaning up the Department.

We have had to go through all this grubby work because that is what you asked me to do when I arrived here. I was convinced that it was necessary for the image of the Department, because as you will see in both the Water and Sanitation Master Plans, we depend a great deal on investments to deliver and for that to happen we have to convince investors that they can rely on us and should invest in us.

Alongside this, a great deal of research has been done by the Water Research Commission that will offer us the necessary technological advances to deal with the problems that we have. The most exciting of these is what is termed the “brown revolution”, which will help us save water, especially necessary in our often drought stricken provinces. The Water Research Commission is available to brief the Portfolio Committee on this technology.

We did not foresee the challenges that we would face with the Covid-19 pandemic, but every crisis presents an opportunity to find new ways. Our response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been exceptional. We established a National Command Centre at Rand Water to coordinate the efforts of the sector and to respond with urgency as this crisis demanded. Rand Water offered us the ideal connectivity infrastructure to be able to connect across the country, with all municipalities and water entities. It also has the necessary credibility and expertise. I am truly proud of this intervention. We are driven to ensure that all South Africans have access to water and we rose to the occasion.

As we have rolled out the intervention, we aimed at ensuring that as many of our people as possible receive the benefits that are due to them, especially in this crisis. I am very proud of what is being done in this regard. I am equally proud that this effort was recognised by the NCOP. We have gone beyond the normal and reached the furthest corners that were possible.

The Department will continue its support to Water Services Authorities in ensuring more sustainable water services in parallel with the implementation of a tanker reduction strategy which will significantly reduce the operating cost of the interim water service.

Of course it has to be understood that this is a crisis and our response to a crisis. It will not necessarily be financially sustainable. But we have proved that the impossible is possible. This intervention has also won us the praise of the President. So effective was this intervention that the Department of Basic Education relied on us for their separate mandate for water. This crisis also assisted us in consolidating our relationship with the private sector and other stakeholders and we are very grateful for all the support we received. This intervention has its limitations as a crisis response measure and does not take away the responsibility of setting up permanent infrastructure on the back of this interim measure that has been helpful up to now.

My sincerest gratitude goes to the CEO of Rand Water, Sipho Mosai and his team, the Chairperson of the Board of Rand Water, Advocate Hashatse, the acting Director-General of the Department, Mbulelo Tshangana and his team, and all the staff at national and in the provinces and municipalities who are part of our effort to ensure that we are able to take water to all corners of the country, to the extent possible. This was done with the utmost urgency and we learned a great deal from our people as we rolled out water tanks and tankers.

This has assisted us to create an infrastructure mapping to deal with our water challenges in our water scarce country. We now need to concentrate on the revival and maintenance of the infrastructure. Here we work with the Infrastructure Team in the Presidency and the DBSA. At our next budget we will report on the infrastructure put together to deal with this huge challenge. But for the moment we will continue to support municipalities meet their water needs.

I listened to the comments of the various political parties who objected to our budget allocation during the debate on the Appropriation Bill. Some opposition parties complained about the historic lack of access to water in certain parts of the country. It became clear to me that we need a workshop with the committees of Parliament, so that we are at one about our mandate and the mandate of municipalities as the water authorities, because this is a frequently misunderstood area, i.e. what are the functions and responsibilities of the national government, provincial government and local government. It is clear from the comments made by Honourable Members that they confuse the different roles, responsibilities and inter-governmental relationships.

Members of Parliament play a crucial role in supporting the rights of our citizens and are therefore an important link in solving complaints from their constituents and channelling them to the correct segment of government. Based on this I’ll approach the Minister of COGTA for us to host a joint workshop. This will deepen Parliament’s effectiveness in solving the problems of our people.

I remain very concerned about the financial viability of most water boards. There is a fundamental problem around financing for our local government system that must be addressed.  We need to ensure that municipalities pay for the bulk water provided to them so that the water boards can continue to operate within a sustainable environment and continue to increase the provision of water. Municipal debt owed to water boards now stands at more than R10 billion on bulk potable water supply services to municipalities. If this matter is not attended to earnestly it will result in some of the water boards ceasing to operate as a result of non-payment of services rendered. This mainly applies to Sedibeng, Bloem, Amatola and Lepelle water boards and will also have to be discussed at the joint workshop.

We promised the President that we can improve on the water licence turnaround time. The Department has been able to make the necessary changes to its regulatory regime to give effect to the 90-day turnaround time with effect from 1 April 2020. The shift from 300 days to 90 days resulted in significant changes to the business process, necessitating a workshop where the changes are discussed exhaustively with the applicants.  

The Department therefore commits to offer assistance to the black and women emerging farmers to enable them to meet the requirements of the 90 days process. The Department will reach out to black and women farmers by using catchment management officers to guide each applicant on the process and identify the information required to support the application.  The Department will work with other departments and other institutions responsible for farmer support.

I am glad to report that I, together with my counterpart form the Kingdom of Lesotho did a Sod Turning event that marked the construction of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II.   This project is aimed at achieving water security and aimed at delivering water to South Africa by November 2026. 

Since the inception of the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant programme in 2007, 3.1 million households have benefitted from water and sanitation projects implemented. In this financial year we are committing R 3.0 billion (under schedule 6b) to continue with the implementation of 136 bulk water and sanitation projects, and R 2 billion under schedule 5b to implement 69 projects.

We have decided to prioritise connecting our water resources to the water supply systems servicing the un-served communities and I therefore call upon all Water Services Authorities to prioritise the operations and maintenance of these grant-funded infrastructure by committing at least 10% of their operating budget to the maintenance of infrastructure under their jurisdiction. Through the Minister of COGTA we would like to see this amount ring-fenced. This will ensure that water services remain in an operable state, rendering a reliable service to our communities and minimising water losses. 

I had instructed the Department to ensure and promised Parliament that, judging from the fact that I had been involved in Human Settlements for the past 15 years, we could eradicate the bucket system within six months. The Department was not able to implement this and I have therefore decided to return the function to the Department of Human Settlements, where it was based before being transferred and where it belongs. It forms part of the bulk infrastructure that has to be installed when we develop housing projects.

The allocation of the Budget has been optimised to ensure alignment with Strategic and Annual Performance Plans aimed at achieving more with less. This budget is compiled under difficult Covid-19 conditions with significant constraints and revenue pressures resultant from the increasing Municipal Water Sales debt. An amount of R1.755 billion was taken away from the original budget allocation of R17.216 billion by National Treasury. However an amount of R1.498 billion was received back resulting in revised allocation of R16.959 billion. This R1.498 billion is reprioritised within the vote to further support the Covid-19 water and sanitation intervention projects.

Funds will also be used to implement source development or bulk linkage projects to replace the need for water tankering and sustain supply of water post tankering period. An amount of R257 million has been suspended from the Departmental Allocations for the support of the Covid-19 macro-economic stimulus response. The R257 million current payments comprises of R50 million under expenditure resultant from vacant posts across all four programmes, R214 million of goods and services as well as increase in payments for capital assets of R7 million.

I thank you.




Budget and policy statement  the Department of Water and Sanitation, vote 41 By Mr. David Mahlobo MP, Deputy Minister for Water and Sanitation, Hybrid Plenary Parliamentary Sitting

Honourable House Chair
Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Honourable Members of Parliament
Leadership of our Entities- Chairperson, Members of the Boards, CEOs and Senior Executives
Leadership of various stakeholders in our sector and civil society
Esteemed Guests
Fellow South Africans


1.    Your Excellencies comrades and friends, we are lowering our revolutionary banner as the people of this country and our movement for the passing of Isithwalandwe/ Seaparankoe, Ubaba Andrew Mlangeni.  He was our revolutionary and moral compass as a nation. May his gentle revolutionary spirit rests in eternal peace.

2.    We pay our last respect to all those who lost the battle against this pandemic and salute more the frontline staff in its entirety who have succumbed whilst in the cause of saving humanity. We convey our sincere condolences to all the families and friends who have lost their loved ones. In the same vein we wish to convey our words of encouragement and well wishes to those that are infected and wish all of them speedy recovery.

3.    Humanity across the globe is feeling scared and many countries the art of leadership is sharply questioned, and people are losing hope. We have a sense of a dark cloud hovering over our existence, can’t breathe, feeling the eye on the storm being upon us.

4.    Madiba words on hope in the midst of adversity strengthen us when he said: “ there were many dark moments  when my faith in humanity was solely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lies defeat and death.”

5.    We are fortunate in this country the way H.E. Cde. President Ramaphosa and government has been decisive and steering the ship through the storm.  We commend him and the entire collective. Equally he has been in the forefront working with African leaders, the WHO, CDC for Africa in crafting an effective response for our continent as the current Chairperson of the African Union. If he had not acted timely the situation would be far worse. Our situation is precarious because decision making must consider our unique circumstances in saving lives whilst protecting livelihood.

Water Resource Infrastructure reigniting economic recovery and investment

6.    Water resource infrastructure is part of network industries that should constitute the bedrock, a catalyst and enablers for economic recovery.

7.    The ANC-led governments over the last 26 years had to expand access to services to many South Africans who were deliberately excluded, the population has grown substantially, increased levels of migration, urbanization and economic growth in terms of GDP compared to 1994.   In addition, consideration must be placed in adapting to climate change imperatives and taking advantage of the technological advances in line with 4th industrial revolution.

8.    For the economic rejuvenation, there is a need to prioritize infrastructure that promotes greater integration especially at a district, provincial, national levels and within the region. Network industries especially water resources and electricity through historic design are state monopolies with unintended consequences by stifling new entrants into this market and high cost.


9.    The National Water Policy directed us to ensure the management of quantity, quality and reliability of the country’s water resources to achieve optimum, long-term, environmentally sustainable, social and economic benefit for the society from their use.

10.    South Africa remains a water scarce country and is facing a challenge in the delivery of water and sanitation services caused by among other factors, insufficient water infrastructure maintenance and investment, recurrent droughts driven by climatic variation, inequities in access to water and sanitation, deteriorating water quality, and a lack of skilled water engineers, scientists, hydrologists, geo-hydrologists and resource economist, etc.

11.     This crisis is already having significant impacts on economic growth and on the well-being of everyone in South Africa. This is exacerbated by climate change related impacts and the Covid-19 pandemic.

12.    The evaporation rate is relatively high and as a country we do not have large rivers. Our country has a spatial availability of water that is unevenly spread with approximately 60 % of the river flow arising from 20% of our land.  

13.    We share the four main rivers with our neighbouring states within region. Regional cooperation is very crucial in our case because of the common source of water. Later this year we shall celebrate 20 years of ORASECOM- cooperation between Namibia, Botswana, Kingdom of Lesotho and South Africa.  

14.    The spatial availability of water has serious impact on development, access to infrastructure and services. This legacy is still visible wherein most urban and industrial development took place far from water source mainly due to occurrence of mineral wealth or deposits and deliberate political decisions taken by the apartheid regime.  The focus on spatial transformation by the ANC led government is an important intervention to reverse this legacy of uneven development.

15.    One country continues to have skewed water allocation with respect to certain water use sectors. The biggest proportion of water sources were mainly directed to irrigation sector estimated at 60%, domestic use about 30% and the remainder to industries, mines and afforestation. This trend is unsustainable in a country that has to cater for the reserve and international obligations in the midst of scarcity of the resource. In other water management areas, the water allocated has been far exceeded and to mitigate against this reality a large-scale transfer of water across the catchments has been implemented.

16.    Due to population growth, migration, urbanization, and lack of infrastructure maintenance, we have experienced negative impact on the quality of the water resources.
17.    Water quality continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate.  Results indicate that the source of pollution emanates from the lack of or inadequate sanitation, return effluent from industries, mines, rural settlements, agricultural run offs, ground water, pollution human settlement activities, and mining.   We have launched the antipollution task team and a number of operations have been carried out with other agencies. We are finalizing the Waste Discharge Charge System- part of the polluter pays principle.

18.    To increase the availability of water source, as a country we adopted a water mix policy and a set of measures to ensure security of the source. One of these measures includes water reuse and, in our country, has added nearly 20% of water availability. Historically the economic centers of our country have experienced good and well managed water systems.  

19.    However South Africa has experienced major delays with respect to the planning, design and execution of a number of water resource projects due to lack of institutional capacity, corruption and financial constraints. Potentially those delays have a negatively affected our economic growth prospects.  These delays have caused cost escalations that are always associated with the input cost in the built environment as witnessed with our current challenges of security of energy.

20.    Inadequate or lack of wastewater treatment and management of effluent discharges including agricultural and urban runoffs has impacted negatively to the health, environment, and economic risks.  This is due to lack of technical capacity for operations and maintenance of Wastewater Treatment Plants and lack of enforcement capability by regulators.  

21.    Every drop of water counts and someone somewhere is looking for that water drop. Water use efficiency requires as to be prioritized to curb water losses from municipal distribution systems (network) and irrigated agriculture. Infrastructure failure and service delivery protests are linked when citizens are frustrated by the unreliable supply.  

22.    As a country certain water use sectors are using more water than they need.  We must change the culture and behavior by embracing water conservation and demand imperatives.


23.    A new radical approach is required on water security to avert the looming crisis. Most water resources infrastructure in our country is not designed to meet the demands of increasingly volatile world that climate change is producing.  The country’s landscape requires a reconceptualization of infrastructure demands and needs to shake often accepted convention.

24.    Whilst our economic prospects have been diminished by two major developments namely the downgrade of our country to below investment grade levels and the global pandemic of serious acute respiratory syndrome coronary virus, known as COVID-19 we have to adopt a flexible and responsive approach to water resources infrastructure where we have experienced unprecedented increased pressures on water demand, consumption and inflows.


25.    Water is a unique resource that underpins all drivers of growth whether its power generation, agriculture, industry, mines, manufacturing and domestic use.   Water is the connector or link of all the economic sectors but we have to balance socio-economic imperatives and environmental interests.  A decision to allocate more water to any one sector implies less water will be available for other economic uses, public water supply, other social services and environmental protection.

26.    We need to ensure that the use of water for productive purposes is equitable, making sure that the governance of water is representative, and ensuring access to safely managed water and sanitation services for all by: Identifying existing unutilised allocated water as well as alternative water sources (e.g. validation & verification, closing mines, government water schemes etc.) for transformation.

27.    Implementing programmes on voluntary contributions from farmers for water reallocation in prioritised catchments and by investigating, revitalising, and refurbishing existing under-performing smallholder schemes.  

28.    The quantity and quality of water depends on the landscape.  The current allocations in terms of water use by various sectors is unsustainable and some of these measures have to be implemented to promote socio-economic imperatives:  
a)    Demand side measures to increase water availability and improve water use efficiency.
b)    Reallocation of water from lower to higher benefit uses by trading water use authorization without compromising the transformation imperatives.
c)    Supply side measures through construction of new dams, related water resource infrastructure, inter catchment and regional transfers.
d)    South Africa’s growth hub, the Gauteng Province depends on the Integrated Vaal River System to meet its growth requirements, thus there is a need to implement water conservation and demand measures.
e)    Inter -catchment transfer will remain viable options to meet water needs for inland provinces.
f)    The city of Cape Town remains isolated from other catchments and inter catchment transfer is not a viable option. In terms of source development it will be critical to invest in developing surface water, exploit ground water, promote water re-use to increase the yield and embark in desalination which is the option for coastal areas.


29.    The following areas can promote and contribute to job creation:  
a)    Infrastructure Development Programs like regional bulk and municipal infrastructure.  Employment of local and provide skills development and work experience (technical and labour-intensive jobs)
b)    Water conservation and demand management through Preventative and scheduled maintenance by fixing of leaks, retrofitting, and plumbing.
c)    Wastewater Treatment Turn around Program in reducing waste discharged into the environment by converting it for energy, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. Wastewater reuse is considered a key component of integrated water resource management because it constitutes two major functions: (i) it increases water supply, and so lessens the pressure on conventional natural resources; and (ii) it reduces pollution by discharging less untreated wastewater into the environment. In spite of these general benefits, the economics of wastewater reuse projects have been recognized as a significant challenge for their implementation
d)    Embark on Infrastructure Asset Management
e)    Programmers to promote water Resource Protection like clearing and cleaning of canals, rivers and dams.
f)    Investment in building the Capacity and Capability of the sector by investing in managers, technicians, engineers and planners for the current and future demands.
g)    Ensure reliability of supply and assurance for specific strategic economic sectors that have high value benefit in growing the economy whilst creating more jobs or employment opportunities like mining, agriculture, industry and tourism manufactures.  These is part of indirect water jobs as the catalytic input.


30.    Water resource is not always in surplus and we need to optimize the use of the existing water resources water re-allocation to reduce the expensive importation of water.  We need to explore to disruptive technologies to shift the way we value water and drive resilience across supply chains and ecosystems through:
a)    Development, operations, maintenance and refurbishment of eager resources infrastructure.
b)    Regional bulk infrastructure roll-out
c)    Support to historical disadvantage through water allocation reform
d)    Reduce the demand by implementing water through water conservation and demand management
e)    Fast-track and completion of all major water infrastructure delayed projects
f)    Development of surface water sources through construction of new dams and transfers
g)    Development and exploitation of ground water sources as per the national ground water report. Where possible implement artificial recharge wherein surplus water is stored underground by injecting water into boreholes and transfer across basins to minimize evaporation.
h)    Promotion of water reuse to increase the yield beyond the current 20% contribution.  Many cities across the globe depends on reuse water and the quality is high and fit for use. In our own country the quality is impacted by poor or lack of operations and maintenance of many municipal waste water treatment works.
i)    Explore increasing desalination for the coastal areas. The cost of technology is slowly becoming affordable and the use of gas offers more opportunities to drive the costs down.
j)    Management of acid mine drainage- mine closures or abandoned mines pollutions predates the National water act 36 of 1998.  This water is available in MP, GP, NW, FS, KZN, NC if we embark of water reclamation and treatment
k)    Water harvesting especially rainwater and fog harvesting to support irrigation and domestic use.
l)    Use of technology
m)    Infrastructure assets management
n)    Multipurpose use of water resource infrastructure for power generation or hydropower, sports, culture and recreation and aquaculture.
31.    The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan include key water resource development projects that are critical for balancing water supply and demand in the various systems throughout the country.

Renewals Backlog

32.    This is also known as condition backlog is made up of asset components that are in poor and very poor conditions and need to be renewed but excluding those that are marked for disposal and those fully impaired due to under-utilisation.

33.    The total CRC for the asset components constituting the NWRI’s Renewal Backlog is about R31.057 billion (about R7.200 billion for Northern Operations; R803.495 million for Eastern Operations; R4.636 billion for Southern Operations; and R18.417 billion for Central Operations).   These figures excludes municipal infrastructure (Distribution network raw and waste) with respect to replacement, refurbishment, operations and maintenance to eliminate infrastructure and reliability of service.
Upgrades Backlog

34.    This is made up of asset components that are exceeding design capacity in utilisation, but excluding those that are marked for disposal and those fully impaired. The total CRC for the asset components constituting the Upgrades Backlog for NWRI is about R7.866 billion (about R5.526 billion for Northern Operations; R700.944 million for Eastern Operations; R17.280 million for Southern Operations; and R1.622 billion for Central Operations).

35.    These asset components (which are mainly dams, pipelines, and canals related) need to be upgraded to avoid stress related failures, and to ensure the country meets the required level of service.
New Water Resource Infrastructure

36.    These projects must be timeously implemented to enhance water security and the revival of SA’s economy. The funding requirement for these projects is about R126 Billion Rands in the next ten (10) years. Some of the projects are:
a)    Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP 2) for Gauteng and Surrounding Areas – Construction of Polihali Dam and Associated Tunnel to Katse Dam
b)    Phase 2A of Mokolo Crocodile (West) Water Augmentation Project (MCWAP 2A) for the Lephalale Area in Limpopo
c)    Olifants Water Resource Development Project (ORWDP) Phases 2B, 2D, 2E and 2F for Sekhukhune, Polokwane and Surrounding Areas in Limpopo
d)    Phase 1 of uMkhomazi Water Project for eThekwini, uMgungundlovu, Msunduzi and Surrounding Areas in KwaZulu-Natal – Construction of a Dam at Smithfield, Tunnel and Associated Water Infrastructure
e)    Berg River – Voelvlei Augmentation Scheme (BRVAS) for the City of Cape Town and Surrounding Areas in the Western Cape.
f)    Mzimvubu Water Project for Areas in OR Tambo, Joe Gqabi and Alfred Nzo in the Eastern Cape.
g)    Groot Letaba Water Augmentation Project – Raising of Tzaneen Dam and Construction of Nwamitwa Dam in Limpopo.
h)    Koopnap River Water Resource Development Project – Construction of Foxwood Dam near Adelaide in the Eastern Cape.
i)    Lusikisiki Water Augmentation Project – Construction of the proposed Zalu Dam in the Eastern Cape.
j)    Olifants-Doorn Water Resource Development Project – Raising of Clanwilliam Dam and Associated Betterment of Conveyance Infrastructure in the Western Cape.


37.    The words of the Director General of the World Health Organization,  Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus are a stark reminder of the importance of leadership and collective action when he said:” COVID-19 remains public health enemy number one, but actions of many governments and people don’t reflect this. It should not be this way. Every single leader, government and person can do their bit to break the chains of transmission and collective suffering.”

38.    The water security question in South Africa is invariably linked to food and energy security and as evident in the COVID response strategy, to the health and infection control in the era of the pandemic.

39.    We need to promote collaborations to identify and scale up public private investments to accelerate implementation projects aimed in achieving sustainable development goal (SDG 6) on water and sanitation.  Water is essential to life.  We need to work hard to bring safe and sanitation to all.  Let’s provide families with hope, health and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, unemployment and reducing inequality.

40.    As this generation we have a lot to carry with our broad shoulder like Madiba did with his generation. Let us better the planet earth for the future generations despite the current challenges we face. Madiba continues to inspire us through his words when he said: “sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation”. We are indeed this generation and we dare not fail.  Our existence is for a mission that we gave to fulfill and we shall make mistakes along the way.

41.    God bless South Africa her sons and daughters

42.    I thank you!