Hansard: NA: Mini-plenary 5

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 25 May 2021


No summary available.




Watch video here: Vote No 41 – Water and Sanitation



Members of the mini-plenary session met on the virtual platform at 14:01

House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation. The House Chairperson announced that the virtual mini-plenary sitting constituted a meeting of the National Assembly.



Debate on Vote No 41 – Water and Sanitation:



Chairperson, hon members, Acting Director-General, panel of advisers and Heads of Provincial Departments, Members of Boards of Entities in the water sector, ladies and gentlemen. When we took stock of what we achieved in the past 12 months, it became very clear to us that which we need to report on, is far greater than the time that is given to us. We therefore resolved to ensure that we able to provide you with the necessary documentation, to up for the fact that we might not be able to give you a full report on what we have done. We have prepared for you therefore ladies and gentlemen, this document which we will give out to you, which includes all those things that otherwise been able to say to you had I had all day long, to talk about this matter.



But, I have resolved that we going to prioritise for today a number of things that we have prioritise. One, it is to indicate what resources have been allocated to the department for this financial year; it is to deal with the concerns raised by members. And, to discuss the major projects that are currently under way, i.e. the Water and Sanitation Master Plan, the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme Phase II and the South African Human Rights Commission’s Report on the Vaal River Sewerage Problem and our response that.


We have compiled a comprehensive and detailed report, which will be made available as I’ve indicated to you, to the portfolio committee on all the work that we have done and we have accomplished in the past financial year.

Having said that, I need to start off by thanking the leadership of the Department of Water and Sanitation. Firstly, the Director-General, currently of the Department of Human Settlements, Mr Mbulelo Tshangana, who spent a great deal of time steering the ship back to sea and keeping a steady hand on the rudder in the time that he spent with us.

Secondly, I would like to thank the Acting Directors-General, Trevor Balzer, and currently the Acting Directors-General Deborah Mochotlhi, members of the Advisory Panels as well, I would like to thank and the officials in the department who stayed the course.

And thirdly, the current Water Boards and Catchment Agencies that have not deviated from their mandate. We have had difficulties in this sector and we have braced ourselves for the enormous challenges that lie ahead, but we can confidently declare that we are making progress. Just yesterday I had the most amazing experience in the Northern Cape where farmers, the unemployed representatives, representatives of the mining sector and the agricultural sector all gathered in Kimberley to thank the department for an exceptional intervention in dealing with the drought that Northern Cape Province has experienced.

The final departmental appropriation budget for the financial year that ended on 31 March 2021 was R16,9 billion, whose expenditure amounted to R14,503 billion, representing 85% of the total adjusted appropriation. In the coming Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF period, the estimated budget allocation is as follows: for 2021-22, R16,9 billion has been allocated, 2022-23, R17,4 billion has been allocated with an increase of 2,9%, 2023-24, we have been allocated R18,03 billion.

The prognosis for the department is good. To begin with, we have had a number of unqualified audits, against all odds, which is a significant improvement. Further, we established a Disciplinary Committee late last year, to deal with all the cases referred to us by the Auditor-General, our Panel of Advisors and Special Investigative Unit, SIU reports and we are making good progress in this disciplinary process.


Out of these we had several successes, the recent one has secured a conviction for the irregularities in Lepelle Northern Water. We wait for the reports on cases currently under investigation by the South African Police Service and will report to the portfolio committee on these in time.



We have also restructured the department to deal with the many vacancies that the portfolio committee had concern about and we have received the necessary concurrence of the Minister of the Public Service and Administration.



We have progressed to legitimise all Boards of our Water Entities that had previously not been approved by Cabinet and will soon conclude this process. To all those who served us faithfully on the Water Boards, our sincerest gratitude.



We are beginning to see the results of the hard work that we have put in. However, a number of challenges remain and new ones confront us on a regular basis. National Treasury has given a warning that our country will not be able to sustain inclusive growth and economic transformation if we continue to have severe water constraints. This puts an enormous burden on


us, given the limited financial resources that are available to the state and for our infrastructure.



It is in this context that I am very glad that we have the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, TCTA, whose job it is to access financial markets to raise funding, in order to implement mega projects in water infrastructure area. Where necessary we keep the water secure and we depend on the resources that we have to make that this is done.



The sustainability of off budget funding, which the state must increasingly rely on to fund infrastructure given the limited fiscal space, means that we must strengthen and give support to those water sector institutions that raise funding, such the TCTA. I am pleased to announce that the TCTA, which received an unqualified audit opinion, has already amassed a R68 billion pipeline of water resources projects, that will start delivering water to South Africa before the end of the decade. These include Lesotho Highland Water Project phase 2, uMkhomazi Water Project, Mokolo-Crocodile Water Resources Development Project, and the augmentation of the Western Cape water supply system. Together these projects impact 70% of the


economy and our major metropolitan areas such as Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, KZN and the Western Cape.



After obtaining the concurrence of the Minister of Finance for the Guarantee Agreements, I gave my consent to the TCTA to conclude loan agreements with and approved the issuance of Government Guarantees to the respective lenders. This allowed the TCTA to raise R15,45 billion in the capital markets from investors to continue construction of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project phase 2. In relation to the Vaal Water River System, we also depend on TCTA to provide us with the necessary resources. So, we have the resources for now, we have the guarantees and now we can assure you that we will be hard at work to provide water security for the country.



A few months ago a most pleasant and productive engagement with the Senior Managers of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange occurred and we are very proud of this very necessary ally. The Team from the JSE, led by the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Dr Leila Fourie, influenced and informed us of the role that it can play in funding the water projects and in funding the resources to sustain our water projects. We will of course have to proclaimed this and we look forward to continue using


the funding capacity of the JSE, to finance our capital expenditure and infrastructure development programmes.



However, on the funding side we still have to tighten up a few areas that could improve our economic stability. At the moment, the money lost through non-payment of our Water Boards by municipalities stands at R12,6 billion as at March 2021. In a recent study we discovered that about 41% of our municipal water is non-revenue water, which means water that is not being billed or paid for and we are losing the value of

R9,9 billion down the drain, either because of physical losses and leakages from server connections, or the municipalities are not paying their debt. The debt that we are owed by the municipalities is a great concern to us. This leaves us as a department much poorer to perform our responsibilities to those that are owed and we lose billions that we could bring on board. So, we need to ensure that municipalities pay for water that they use.



On this particular debt, we need to ensure that water tariffs also are cost-reflective, fully implemented and can repay debt. Going forward, we must ensure that credit control measures are enforced to arrest increasing debt. We have no


choice but to do this because the availability and cost of off budget funding, now and in the future, depends on our ability to overcome these financial challenges. Until then, the water sector entities as funders will rely on government guarantees until they get the necessary support, which the fiscus is finding increasingly difficult to provide.



As you know, we launched the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan in 2019 and we call it “Call to Action”. This sought to rally all South Africans to work together to address the challenges that are confronting our sector. The Plan has been on our website ever since, inviting comments from interested parties. We have received a great deal of support and responses that have enriched the Master Plan, including, I must add, endorsement from a number of organisations, such as Agri-SA, the Black Farmers Association of South Africa and to our great surprise – very recently from the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC! I mention the DRC because President Mbeki had informed me some time back that the water from the DRC has been former Namibian President Sam Nujoma’s life-long dream. We will be following up on this and make it a reality for ourselves and for President Nujoma.


The Master Plan points out five key objectives that define a ‘new normal’ for water and sanitation development. What we are to do, is take us through Cabinet very soon as it is possible and when we get the necessary endorsement from Cabinet, we will use the necessary space to propagate our views and we use which we to call the it the Master Plan, we will call it “Water Charter – ensuring water for all”, which will fundamentally change the water environment. It is a redistributive instrument that ensures that there is equitable distribution of water, which would also result in increasing water saving measures. A copy of the draft Plan is available to all members and I have a copy here which will be available to all members after this.



Even though we are doing as much as we can in the provision of sanitation services, there are huge challenges facing this sector. Some of these are as a result of unplanned, rapid urbanisation, putting increasing strain on our heavily burdened infrastructure, inadequate investment in operation and maintenance and the reprehensible has been stolen in our structure by those people who continuously invade our space and steal the cables in our infrastructure.


Our Waste Water Treatment Plants are regularly vandalised by criminal elements that often render our Plants inoperable. We are now required to increase our security and declare essential dam security points. We will also lobby for maximum penalties for those who criminally interrupt our work.



We have made significant progress in addressing access to sanitation. Households with access to sanitation have increased from 49% in 1996 to 83% according to Statistics South Africa, STATS SA outcomes 2019. However, there is still approximately 2,8 million households, which is 17% of our households, without access to improved sanitation services.

The Master Plan deals with our commitment in this regard. For the time being, innovative technology is available to assist us and we thank the Water Research Commission that organised the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in this regard and bringing together all stakeholders to understand that there is a substitute for water in our toilet.



There is a need to embrace technology - in this case, technology that will reduce water demand. While waterborne sanitation system is the first preference for everybody, however it is not possible for us to provide this to


everybody, nor is it practical to install it in every toilet. So we will make use of the dual system that we have right now. The department is working with the Water Research Commission and Department of Science and Technology to find alternative sanitation solutions, where these are necessary.



That brings us to the matter of national concern – the pollution of the Vaal River System. The Deputy President and ourselves have been seized with what has to be done at the Vaal in order to protect the Vaal River System, which spans three provinces and two countries. What has got us to where we are in the Vaal crisis can be grouped into three pillars and that is also envisaged in the plan and you also seen in the document that we are giving to you.



Because of the geographic position and the flat topography of the Vaal it is impossible for them or the Vaal System to provide us with sewer points that are necessary to taking all that excessive strain that comes downstream. Ideally sewer system treatment in a municipality service that requires costs recovery as a minimum, we are finding that in a Vaal, we are spending a great deal of resources.


However, the high unemployment and dwindling revenue collection in the Vaal area is making it difficult for the Emfuleni Municipality to recover the cost to generate an income and cover operational maintenance.



My department and I have spent a great deal of time attempting to make sure that we can give the necessary assistance to the municipality of Emfuleni. By 17 February 2021 the Human Rights Commission had issued a report on its own investigation and instructed ourselves to intervene in a decisive manner and take overall responsibility to restore the rights and dignity of the people of the Vaal. We have been in discussions with number of people and we are very grateful for the support we have received from business community of the Vaal, from the people in the Vaal, for the work that we have done so far. We have decided therefore to take our responsibility which is given to us by Water Service delivered ... [Inaudible.] ...and take over the running of the Vaal system.



We’ve given the responsibility of running the municipality water service to Rand Water as an implementing agency and to take full responsibility for operation and maintenance. We hope to provide Cabinet with a plan to ensure that this is


part and parcel of the responsibilities that they acknowledge that they have been taken over by ourselves.



After that in the coming weeks, the department will be finalising the appointment of contractors for them to immediately be on the ground to urgently address the dire situation. We have already started putting out requests and advertising for engineers and I need to emphasize, we only employ South African engineers, there has never been any tender put out there that allows anybody else outside the borders of South Africa, so I hope that this brings me to this point to an end. No foreign engineers have ever been given tenders by the department. The Cuban engineers that Solidarity Movement is so obsessed with, are here to mentor our rural municipalities. They are not taking anybody’s job, nor are they eligible to tender.



We all know that the country needs to invest heavily in water infrastructure to secure our economic and social wellbeing as a country. Infrastructure investment is key to the country’s economic recovery from the devastation of COVID-19. In the past year and these are the projects we worked on and completed. We have completed, bulk raw water project in a


number of areas. We have 106 regional bulk infrastructure projects under construction right now. We have 10 regional bulk infrastructure phases which we have completed. We have

382 small water services infrastructure projects under construction.



We have a 102 small master services infrastructure projects completed and we have the Vaal intervention project that is now under implementation, 39% of our projects are completed as per Maintenance Plan and unscheduled maintenance projects completed as a proportion of planned maintenance projects, which are kept at 26%, 25 dams have been evaluated for safety, 1951km conveyance systems system rehabilitated, 1037 job opportunities have been created through the implementation of the water infrastructure projects, 428 non-compliant wastewater systems have been monitored against the Regulatory Requirements, and 366 non-compliant water supply systems monitored against the Regulatory Requirements.



House Chairperson, I need to indicate that for the coming financial year, we have prioritised the following water infrastructure projects: One, the Mdloti River Development Project which is raising the Hazelmere Dam. Two, the Great


Letaba River Development Project, which is raising the Tzaneen Dam and Nwamitwa Dam. Three, the Olifants-Doorn River Water Resources Project, raising of Clanwilliam Dam.



The Mzimvubu Water Project, Olifants River Water Resources Development Project, the Cwabeni Off-Channel Storage Dam, the Stephen Dlamini Dam, people in KwaZulu-Natal will be very happy at this. Berg River - Augmentation Scheme, and the Lusikisiki Regional Water Supply Scheme, in Zalu Dam. Also we are prioritising the Mokolo and Crocodile River (West) Water Augmentation project, and the Foxwood Dam, of course we are also prioritising the uMkhomazi Water Supply Project, the Algoa Water Supply System and those are the ones that we are prioritising and we putting them out there to ensure that we are able to start them off and complete those that we are able to complete, this year.



I am happy to announce that as we stand now, Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme, which we launched in Lesotho at Polihadi on 13 November 2019, has been endorsed by Cabinet and the Chief Delegate and Alternate to the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission and have already took their place in June 2021. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project is a multi-phased


joint water resource development project and is very important for both Lesotho and South Africa's social and economic wellbeing depends greatly on this.



Phases 1A&B of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which supplies Katse and Mohale Dams, transfer and delivery tunnels from Lesotho Highlands to the Vaal Dam in South Africa. The Muela Hydropower Station continues to deliver measurable and tangible benefits to both parties. And, phase II is now underway and I keenly await the committee’s report on their visit to Lesotho.



South Africa currently receives approximately 780 million cubic meters of water per year through the Lesotho into its Integrated Vaal River System which supplies water to Gauteng and the surrounding areas. This Vaal Water System needs to be urgently augmented in order for it to cope with the increasing water requirements. This is becoming even more evident as we grapple with frequent drought. The situation that we have in Gauteng right now, is an indication of how dire the situation can be.


Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project comprises the construction of Polihali Dam, which will provide an additional

465 million cubic meters of water per year and thus bringing the total to about 1245 million cubic meters of water per year into the Integrated Vaal River System from Lesotho.



The Water Boards play a critical role for us in our value chain and therefore would like to urge all municipalities, please to make sure that our Water Boards are paid. The matter of debt that is owed to us of our Water Boards, we need to sit down and make sure we have some finality.



The President in his recent Sona speech, indicated that we would be putting in place and the Water Resources Infrastructure Agency that has been in the making for a very long time and we have reach the point now where we would like to take it to Cabinet to have it approved. We hope that Parliament will deal this Bill with the necessary speed.



We had previously committed to speed up the provision of Water Use Licences. The department has been able to make the necessary changes to its regulatory regime to give effect to the 90-day turnaround with effect from 1 April 2021. Where


existing water resources are already used, the National Water Act gives the Minister the power to undertake a compulsory licencing process to reallocate water use licences. The process provided for in the National Water Act was designed and certified as constitutionally compliant. This is an important provision in the law to redistribute our water licences to ensure equal distribution of our water resources to all. This transformation of the water sector is long overdue and our emphasis is to fast-track this particular process and transform our water services in lifetime. The law allows, the Constitution allows it.



With the view of improving service delivery and promoting efficiencies the department and I have dealt with a matter of great concern to the portfolio committee, i.e. the organisational structure of the department and the filling of vacancies. A revised macro organisational structure for the department has been approved, with the concurrence of the Minister for Public Service and Administration. And a consultative process is underway with all senior managers with temporarily migrated to posts that are the revised structure has made provision for. We are working on this matter and we will report to Parliament when we have concluded.


With available budgets, the department is in the process of scrutinising competent individuals to fill vacant senior management posts, that would not be filled after we have resettled most of the of our senior managers and got their concurrence as is required by Law.



The other matter of concern for us and Parliament are the disciplinary cases. A Disciplinary Committee as I’ve indicated with the necessary legal competence is busy with investigating all of those matters that have been a concern to the portfolio committee. We hope that the Disciplinary Committee will report to Parliament at earliest opportunity before the portfolio committee.



The House Chairperson (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister ...





Chair, I am done. Thank you very much.



Ms M R SEMENYA: Good afternoon, hon Chair, hon members ...





Molekgotlaphethi?i le batlat?i ba gagwe, baeng ba rena ba bohlokwa go t?wa makgotleng a mangwe, le set?haba ka kakaret?o

- ke a le dumedi?a mathapameng a lehono.





I rise on this occasion on behalf of the ANC in support of Budget Vote 41 allocation to the Department of Water and Sanitation.



Throughout this speech I will demonstrate and provide tangible reasons for our decision to support this budget vote.



The ANC as the ruling party ... [sound cut off] ... carries the poor, the vulnerable members of our community, especially women and children. I will, therefore, focus on how this budget seeks to change the lives of our people for the better.



This year marks the 150th birthday of the mother of black freedom in South Africa, Comrade Mme Charlotte Maxeke. It is not a coincidence that this year is dedicated to commemorate her life; she broke barriers, she defied the system, she fought for freedom from deplorable living conditions such as lack of access to housing, clean water, education, health


facilities, sanitation and healthy living environment, amongst many other rights.



I stand here with pride in that the ANC government has managed to provide our citizens or households with water since 1994 despite competing demands and poor spatial locations of water infrastructure left by the apartheid government. Charlotte Maxeke would have been proud of this progress.



In fact, when the ANC was given a mandate to govern by the people in 1994, it prioritised the provision of water and sanitation to our people. This was in line with our progressive Constitution which put access to water and sanitation at the apex of human rights. This is the reason we passed the Water Service Act in 1997 along with the Strategic Framework for Water Services before any other legislation that relates to water.



It is unfortunate that we have not been able to provide water and sanitation to all and it pains us as leaders of society. Nevertheless, Budget Vote 41 provides another opportunity to move closer to our goals.


Water is an enabler; it is a catalyst for radical socioeconomic development.



The 54th national conference of the ANC identified several developmental issues that can only be achieved through equitable distribution and utilisation of water. For instance, the land reform and redistribution programme will be meaningless without access to water. Therefore, the ANC resolved that active measures should be put in place to enable effective land redistribution, these measures include, but not limited to, support to black farmers with preferential allocation of water rights and infrastructure provision for black farmers.



Water can also be used to strengthen Broad-Based Black Economic Employment, BBBEE. In this regard, the ANC resolved that the state procurement should be used as an empowerment lever within certain percentage of procurement is reserved for BBBEE purposes.



Budget Vote 41 and its associates amended strategic plan and Annual Performance Plan, APP, has set aside 15% of the procurement budget for the qualifying small enterprises and


exempted macro enterprises, entities owned by women, youth and people with disabilities will get preferences. The portfolio committee will monitor this target closely throughout the financial year.



The World Economic Forum, WEF, global risk report for 2021 lists extreme weather and failure of climate action as clear and present dangers. This means the world currently confronted with these challenges. South Africa is not immune from these issues. We have witnessed devastating droughts in the recent past and the droughts continue to affect some parts of the Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape and Western Cape.



This is in line with the climate change forecast by the SA Weather Services that predict persistent dry conditions in the western interior and the condition in the eastern part of the country. South Africa is a water scarce country. We do not have enough water resources and climate change is worsening the situation.



Apart from climate change impact and water scarcity, the deteriorating and vandalism of water and water waste infrastructure, poor pricing regime, escalating municipal


water debt to water boards, delays in issuing water licenses, poor implementation of broader water resources policies to address equitable allocation and protection of the resources, delays in investment in water infrastructure and the erosion of institutional memories in the water sector along with the laws of experienced water engineers and scientists. These are some of the immediate challenges that we must confront head on.



We must commend the Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, for her bold decision to complement the engineering capacity within the department by appointing the Cuban engineers to mentor and capacitate our young engineers. I know she has been criticised for the intervention, but let me tell you, this is not new to South Africa, appointing international specialists is a known practice best world over.



We are in this situation because our own engineers left the department in disarray and they are now consultants at the same department, solving the problems that they could not have solved when they were employees.


It will be remised of me not to mention the impact of coronavirus on the economy and the provision of water and sanitation. COVID-19 has interrupted the infrastructure development project world over.



We were in Lesotho to assess the Lesotho Highland Water project earlier this month. We learned first-hand the impact of COVID-19 on the mega infrastructure development. Although this project was already behind schedule, the emergence of COVID-19 worsened the delay. We are now looking at the completion date of 2027 instead of 2025.



However, the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, 2019-24 responds to these challenges as it provides priorities of government in line with the vision 2030.



The National Development Plan, NDP, Priority 4 on economic infrastructure calls for the expansion of water infrastructure, amongst others, to support economic growth, social development goals.



It is also worth noting the economic reconstruction and recovery plan as a direct response to COVID-19.


Water as a source and as a sector is set to play a pivotal role in the reconstruction and recovery of the economy.



I am glad to announce that all these plans are adequately addressed in Budget Vote 41 and the amended strategic plan and APP. I will provide specific detail when I deal with actual numbers and target forthe year under review.



Budget Vote 41 constitute 1,7 of the total share of the 2021 appropriation and it put vote 41 at number 15 in comparison with other budget votes. This means budgetary allocations to water and sanitation are dwindling.



The overall budget allocation for vote 41 decreases from R16,99 billion in 2020-21 to R16,91 billion in 2022. This is a significant decrease of R765,9 million in the real terms. That is when inflation is taken into account.



This implies that the services will be compromised. However, these also provide an opportunity for innovation and creativity in the delivery of water and sanitation services. It is an opportune time for the water research commission and others to identify and offer water and sanitation technologies


and governance system that are cost-effective and fit for purpose.



Allow me to make a clarion to our hon Minister and her esteemed team that the season we find ourselves in calls for doing more with less. Part of more with less involves avoiding unnecessary costs such as fines and interest on late payments. Leave no room for fraud and corruption.



We should also ensure that we have competent human capacity in all relevant programmes; these regard the vacant director- general and chief financial officer, CFO, positions should be filled with urgency.



Leadership is key when you’re working with limited resources. We have all human capital in right places but without smart leadership; we are set up for failure. Boards for all entities must be constituted [Time expired.]



The ANC supports this budget. I thank you.



Mr L J BASSON: Water is life, sanitation is dignity. Chairperson, South Africa is one of the few countries in the


world that enshrines the basic right to sufficient water in its Constitution, stating that everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water. However, much remains to be done to fulfil that right.



The department’s legislative mandate ensures that the government’s water resources are protected, managed, used, developed, conserved and controlled by regulating and supporting effective water supply and sanitation delivery. This is done in accordance with the requirements of the water- related policies and legislation that are critical in delivering on people’s rights to have sufficient food and water, growing the economy and eradicating poverty. The management of our national water resources must contribute towards achieving South Africa’s growth, development and socioeconomic priorities.



In the National Development Plan, one of the seven priorities as adopted by the government for the 2019-24 administration, addresses, under priority two, economic transformation and job creation. Minister Sisulu must explain the following. Your government made job creation one of the seven priorities.

Despite this, you acquaint 24 unaccredited Cuban engineers at


a cost of R65 million. Minister, your lame excuse that very few of our own engineers would possibly opt to work in the rural areas holds no water. Recently, the labour union Solidarity produced a list of 132 local engineers who are willing and ready to assist in the government’s efforts to address infrastructure challenges in rural communities. This proves that the deployment of Cuban engineers has nothing to do with the reluctance of local engineers to assist nor has this anything to do with a lack of expertise. This smacks of another money-looting scheme by the ANC.



The Engineering Council of SA has 34 ... registered professionals, of which more than 14 800 are registered professional engineers. This confirms that South Africa has numerous skilled engineers who are able to assist in infrastructure challenges. Yet, you choose to pay millions of rand in accommodating and paying unaccredited Cuban engineers at the expense of accredited, experienced and unemployed engineers already registered in South Africa.



If these Cuban engineers are so good, send them back home Minister, to sort out their own problems in Cuba. Some towns have only two hours of running water every five days. At a


national level, Cuba’s water losses are calculated at around 60% due to infrastructure failure. This situation is even worse than our own losses of 37%. Minister, you insist that no jobs have been stolen from South African workers but the unaccredited Cuban engineers have landed themselves a sweet deal at the cost of South African engineers.



The DA wants the Minister to inform South Africa now which steps her department had taken prior to the signing of the agreement, to ensure that South Africans could be employed instead. What skill sets do each of these Cuban nationals possess that South African engineers do not? The DA calls on the Minister to reverse the appointment of the 24 Cuban engineers and to appoint local engineers. However, it now seems that she will not send the Cubans home and will even go so far as to defend her decision in court.



South Africa’s water infrastructure is at risk of failure and this deepening crisis requires leaders from government, business, labour and civil society to deliberate on a way forward to build capacity at national, provincial and municipal levels to address water challenges.


The DA believes that through meaningful public-private partnerships, a solution can be found. Water specialists indicated that more than R900 billion will be needed in the next 10 years on infrastructure to avoid a full-scale water crisis. Currently, only R16,9 billion is budgeted for this need, with a shortfall of R73,2 billion in this financial year. Our water crisis is the result of an ANC government’s inability to protect, expand, maintain, manage and finance water infrastructure.



A critical problem in the country is the pollution of our water resources. Since 2014, we haven’t seen a Blue Drop and Green Drop report that measures the quality of our drinking water and water from municipal wastewater treatment plants released into our rivers and streams. In the 2014 Blue Drop report, 1 009 water purification plants in the country were assessed. Only 32% of these plants produced excellent drinking water. The 2014 Green Drop report reportedly assessed

824 wastewater treatment plants, receiving 5 000 million litres of sewerage every day. According to the 2014 report, 84% of wastewater plants were in critical risk, high risk or medium risk, with only 16% of these plants in low risk.

Oversight shows that the situation worsened since 2014 and


this implies that millions of litres of untreated or inadequately treated sewerage is illegally discharged into rivers and streams every day.



A total of 82% of South Africa’s rivers are now considered threatened. We just have to look at the polluted state of the Hartbeespoort Dam and the Vaal catchment area. All I can say is that this ANC government is poisoning our freshwater resources. This is a result of noncompliance in monitoring and enforcement by the ANC government.



Currently, 19% of rural populations lack access to reliable water supply and 33% do not have basic sanitation services. While rural citizens suffer the most, over 26% of urban and rural schools and 45% of clinics have no water access.





Nog ’n probleem binne die watersektor is die wanbetaling van water deur munisipaliteite. Tans is meer as R26 miljard uitstaande aan waterrade en waterhandelentiteite. Vyf waterrade het hulp verlening van R980 miljoen gevra net om hul deure oop te hou.




Minister, government is dragging its feet in taking decisive steps on the nonpayment of water by municipalities. How are you going to protect water boards from collapsing and how are you going to protect access to safe water if municipalities are not going to pay for their water?



If we don’t resolve the nonpayment of water, it places the infrastructure projects, like the Mokolo and Crocodile River Water Augmentation Project and the raising of the Clanwilliam, Tzaneen and Hazelmere dams at risk.



The DA believes that the poor performance of the department is the delay for more than five years in appointing a director- general and a chief financial officer. It is unacceptable that there is no urgency in filling these positions. The portfolio committee questioned this, and the reply from the Deputy Minister is that the Minister is the only one who determines when and whom to place in these positions. This is a huge cause for concern. Now Minister, you explain to Parliament today why these positions are not filled and when it will be filled.


The DA requests the Minister to speedily resolve and implement the establishing of an independent water regulator to regulate water tariffs and reduce the issuing of water licences from

300 to 90 days. For years now, the DA puts free proposals on the table on how to make sure that we live up to the slogan, Water is life, sanitation is dignity. Minister, just for once, listen and implement the following four proposals from the DA:



Firstly, appoint skilled, experienced and accountable management and end political interference in the day-to-day running of water infrastructure;



Secondly, implement the use it or lose it principle by transferring underperforming municipal water infrastructure to water boards;



Thirdly, enforce the polluter must pay principle; and



Fourthly, create opportunities for private-sector partnerships with government.





Maar vir nou is Suid-Afrikaners gatvol vir hierdie swak dienste van die ANC. Genoeg is genoeg! Dit is tyd vir verandering — verandering na ’n DA regering wat dinge gedoen kan kry. Ek dank u.



Ms M R MOHLALA: Hon Chairperson, the EFF rejects Budget Vote


41 of the Department of Water and Sanitation. There has been little progress made in relation to access to water and proper sanitation in this country. More than 3 million people are currently estimated not to have access to safe and reliable source of water, and an estimated 14,1 million does have access to safe sanitation. This is due to the failure of your department to maintain aging infrastructure and to invest in new infrastructure, taking into account the growth of the population.



The 144 municipalities which are water service authorities, as mandated by the Constitution, are failing to undertake this core function at local level as they lack technical skills, institutional capacity and funding to operate, maintain and manage water and waste water infrastructure assets. You know this Minister, and you are doing nothing about it. No amount


of social media influencers you appoint will fix these problems.



Minister, in reality, your department is failing to protect the little that we have as river ecosystem are currently being threatened or critically endangered due to the high risk of pollution. Wet lands are high value ecosystem, but are not effectively rehabilitated or protected. The Vaal river is one example which gives us an indication of the absolute neglect of our fresh water ecosystem under your stewardship.



Minister, the people of Emfuleni municipality are living in permanent state of disaster, with raw sewerage spillage into their yard, with massive health risks, particularly to children and the elderly. What is happening with the District Development Model which this department is always claiming to be the panacea to resolve intergovernmental water and sanitation challenges in this country, more specifically on waste water treatment plant?



Chairperson, municipal accounts represents approximately 50% of the accumulated raw water depth at the Department of Water and Sanitation, while Water Boards add another 1,7 billion


primarily due to non-payment by local municipalities. What is the point of continuously establishing Inter-Ministerial Task Team where no tangible results are forthcoming?



Minister, irrigation water system is poorly metered. The regulatory systems in the department are quite weak and these requires more urgent action. If you can strengthen the regulatory component of your department, transgressions and non-compliance issues related to pollution, sewerage outflow and deteriorating ecosystem, at least the department will be partly saved.



The billing system is an item which has been debated for quite a while now and to this day, we do not know when will the issue of independent economic regulator to assess tariff determination across the entire water and sanitation value chain be considered. Many critics argue that economic regulator for the water sector must be independent, accountable, transparent and focus on balancing the economics of water with the lived realities of consumers that pays for water.


Minister, the department’s Revised Strategic Plan 2021-22 to 2024-25, maintains that it is cognisant of the number of external and internal environmental matters affecting the department’s ability to deliver on its mandate. Chairperson, the task of delivering to the needs of the people requires a government which committed – a government that cares about the lives of the people - and has political will through the authorities to deliver to the best of their abilities.



The task of operationalising and planning of government activities through programmes and sub programmes requires careful planning and inevitable trade-offs, which this government lacks.



Minister, the ongoing Special Investigating Unit, SIU, investigation and an internal investigation by your department, do not seem to come to any logical conclusion. You must deal with corruption and irregular expenditure that are so embedded in your department.



Minister it is time to provide water and sanitation to the poor masses of the people as enshrined in the Constitution in order to save lives. Let’s do away with the lip service and


grandstanding and promising things which you can’t do. The EFF


rejects this Budget Vote. Thank you, Chair.



Ms S A BUTHELEZI: Hon House Chairperson, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the neglect that our municipalities and other government sectors have practised where access to safe water and sanitation are concerned, particularly for our most vulnerable such as those living in rural areas. As the pandemic has raged, we have seen an increase in water demand, and yet the reality is that water scarcity is a real problem in many provinces. It is also disappointing that as we celebrate 25 years of our progressive Constitution, the right to sufficient and safe water is not a reality for many South Africans.



At the core of the water problems is the failure to efficiently manage our water resources as well as the plethora of corrupt officials that divert critical funds for themselves. Furthermore, these corrupt officials ... [no sound.] ...



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, will you unmute your microphone please.


Ms S A BUTHELEZI: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the neglect that our municipalities and other government sectors has practised, where access to safe water and sanitation are concerned, particularly for our most vulnerable such as those living in rural areas. As the pandemic has raged, we have seen an increase in water demand, and yet the reality is that water scarcity is a real problem in many provinces. It is also disappointing that as we celebrate 25 years of our progressive Constitution, the right to sufficient and safe water is not a reality for many South Africans.



At the core of the water problems is the failure to efficiently manage our water resources, as well as the plethora of corrupt officials who divert critical funds for themselves. Furthermore, these corrupt officials continue to pull municipalities further into financial ruin, without consequences.



The IFP wants to see more heads roll when public servants are found to be complicit in corrupt conduct that compromises service delivery. The IFP wishes to express concern at the department’s ability to rack up almost R1 billion in irregular expenditure for the 2019-20 financial year. According to the


Office of the Auditor-General, the bulk of this was due to unjustifiable deviations from normal procurement processes. While this amount is public knowledge, we have yet to see the names of the officials responsible, whether they faced disciplinary action or whether they continue to hold office. The IFP demands more visible accountability and sanction for individuals responsible for such gross misconduct. Such irregular expenditure results in communities going without water and in some cases leaving municipalities to seek private partnerships in order to service their communities. This should be the responsibility of government, yet government is failing.



The IFP calls on the department to strengthen its oversight function by implementing monitoring programmes for drinking water, wastewater and mine water quality because its function is not just in ensuring that water is available but that water is of a safe quality.



The IFP is further concerned by the allocation of funds to consultants, business and advisory services, which has increased from R37,3 million in 2020-21 to R65,8 million in 2021-22. Why is the department spending so much money on


outside experts instead of hiring and using competent department staff? This is an unfortunate and poorly planned use of resources.



Furthermore, the IFP remains concerned by the failure to fill critical senior management positions such as that of director- general and chief financial officer. How can we expect a functional system when there is a leadership vacuum? The IFP hopes to see these positions filled with expediency by qualified individuals, not merely cadre deployments.



We need to reinforce a high standard of good governance and service delivery in this sector. Water delivery above all, needs to be managed by those who are able to be held accountable so that we may ensure, at a minimum, that we deliver on basic human and constitutional rights.



In conclusion, the IFP is committed to carefully monitoring the performance of this department and will not hesitate to demand accountability. Considering all the stated issues, the IFP in general supports the budgetary adjustments. I thank you.




Mnr P MEY: Voorsitter, die Nelson Mandela metro beleef ’n krisis sover as wat water aanbetref. Dit is teleurstellend dat nie die ANC of enige van die ander partye — nie die DA, EFF of IFP — eers daarna verwys het nie. Dit is nie ’n Oos-Kaap probleem nie. Dit is ’n probleem vir Suid-Afrika.





Mr M A TSEKI: Chairperson, can we be assisted with the interpretation?



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon member. There is supposed to be interpretation on this platform. Is the interpretation ... available? Thank you. Hon Tseki, you must look at the bottom of the screen. There are a few icons there and one of them says interpretation. You must click on English and then you will hear the English interpretation.



I’m sorry to have disrupted your speech, hon Mey, but you may continue now.





Mnr P MEY: Agb Semenya sê dat Suid-Afrika ’n droë land is. Ek wil graag herhaal wat ek in ’n vorige toespraak gesê het. Met my besoek aan die Vanderkloof en Gariep damme, het ek onderkant daardie wal gestaan en die water het oor die walle gerol op pad na die see; ja op pad na die see. En ek het by myself gedink, dit is nie nodig dat ons een van die

30 droogste lande in die wêreld moet wees nie. Ons moet meer damme bou, ook in die Oranjerivier, en dan moet ons water herlei. Ons het vanjaar ... rekord-oeste word voorspel op die gebied van landbou. Ons kan trots op ons boere wees. Hulle doen uitstekende werk met dikwels die minimum water. Dit is een van die grootste werkskeppers in ons land en hoe meer water daar beskikbaar is hoe meer werk kan ons skep.



Ek wil net vir u noem wat die herlei van water betref. Ek bly op Despatch. Voorsitter, u sal presies weet waar dit is. Dit is 40 kilometers van Kirkwood. Kirkwood is bekend vir die

Sondagsriviervallei met sy groot sitrus boerdery. Hoekom is daardie deel so suksesvol? Want hulle kry water op ’n permanente basis van die Oranjerivier. Waarom kan water dan nie na droë dele in ons land herlei word nie? Ons dink spesifiek byvoorbeeld aan water van die Oranjerivier, Graaff- Reinet, Aberdeen, Willowmore, by die Beervlei Dam,


Steytlerville en terug na die Nelson Mandela metro. Daar lê duisende der duisende hektar grond wat bewerk kan word.



Dan wil ek vir u noem dat daar geen beplanning is om water in Nelson Mandela metro of in die Oos-Kaap te verbeter nie. Ons sê daar is nie geld nie. Dit is nie waar nie. Gister het ons weer by die Zondo-kommissie gehoor dat die Guptas R49 miljard deur staatsinstansies gekry het. Dit is totaal onaanvaarbaar. Ons bevolking groei om en in die stede. Die platteland word ontvolk omdat daar nie werk is nie.



Nou wil ek spesifiek na die Nelson Mandela metro verwys. Die Nelson Mandela metro se grootste dam is die Kouga. Op die oomblik is hy 4% vol. Sy opvangsgebied is Willowmore, Baviaanskloof, en aan die ander kant van die berg is dit Joubertina, Krakeel, Misgund en Haarlem. Twee weke gelede het dit 150 milimeter daar gereën. Die damvlak van die Kouga het niks gestyg nie. Hoekom nie? Die sytakke is toegegroei. Die boere het my dit self gaan wys. Maar wat is die probleem dan? Working for Water het nie geld nie. Hulle kan dit nie doen nie, alhoewel die Minister van Finansies ’n paar maande gelede nog R2 miljard begroot het.


Ek sal vir u een ding sê. Ons sit met ’n krisis en die eerste plek waar water gaan opraak is die KwaNobuhle woongebied by Uitenhage. Agb Minister, ek wil nie daardie dag beleef nie.

Dit sal brand en verwoesting wees. Wat is die oplossing dan?



Ek het dit herhaalde kere namens die VF Plus gesê. Rig op watertenks. Moet nie net watertenks gaan neersit nie. Sorg dat daar fondasies en geute is. Moet nie uitstel nie. Ek sê vir u, begin volgende week in KwaNobuhle. Dit sal die beste korttermyn-belegging wees wat u kan maak.



Ek wil afsluit. Ons in die metro stuur af op ’n humanitêre ramp. Kan u uself ’n metro sonder water indink? Dit sal tragies wees. Ek wil net noem dat een van die grootste probleeme by die Departement van Waterwese ... Ek het geluister na wat die ingenieurs betref. The VF Plus het herhaalde kere vir die DA en die ANC oor die jare gewaarsku. Doen weg met regstellende aksie. Gebruik ons eie mense. Ons het soveel ingenieurs.



Ek sluit af. Ek wil vandag vir net een ding pleit. God help ons. Breek oop die wolke en laat ons damme vol word. Dankie.




(Mr M D Mahlobo): Your Excellency Chairperson, thank you very much, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members, your excellences, comrades and friends, many citizens across the globe continue to parish, economies have stagnated while exposing inequalities exist amongst the nation due to the pandemic COVID-19. The breath taking scientific revolution and advancement has yielded the production of vaccines to prevent the spread of this pandemic. The downside is the behaviour and the greed of those powerful nations that have chosen to accumulate more vaccine than they need which is protectionism.



We wish to commend His Excellency President Ramaphosa as an African champion on his unwavering determination supported by on the question of the waver of the intellectual property, to allow Africa to manufacture these vaccines. The efforts of His Excellency has gained momentum, where in more than 100 countries including the United States are supporting this particular call.



Our call is that this virus continues to live amongst us. It mutates and there are new strains that are emerging. It is going to be important that our collective effort and our


behaviour will be very determining whether we stop this spread or not. Let us continue to wash our hands, sanitise, wear masks and keep the requisite social distance. We must also deal with these view that those that are negative about the vaccine through civic education and mobilisation and solidarity during this period which will go a long way in our collective effort to turn the tide and save humanity.



Today is 25 May and we are celebrating Africa Day. We are going to continue to implement our mandate as envisioned in the Vision 2063 Africa’s has lost out. As a continent, we must extricate ourselves and break the vicious cycle of dependence imposed by imperialist those that are financially powerful who command the world market and see the world through the lance of their own image.



Our forebears were always right when they struggled for a united Africa at peace with herself through the basis of freedom, human rights and social justice.



We as humanity we are quietly aware of the importance of the interdependence of development and sustainable use of environment as part of an effort contained in the UN


Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs. These SDGs are a human collective effort in addressing the modern environmental challenges that extend far beyond the capacity of individual countries and we need to find ways, even in this House to work together to preserve our heritage.



Water is a very important determinant for the eco system, social and economic good. It can become a limiting resource for development. Where there is these challenges and disruptions, the implications are huge, for the economies and the social wellbeing of our people.



We must be able to work together to make sure that we fulfil these human rights by improving that those directives around 2030 Vision we improve water quality, we increase the water use efficiency across all sectors, we implement integrated water resource management, we protect our eco system and we must ensure that we support and strengthen the participation of communities because water is for communities.



As the ANC-led government over the last 27 years, we have done well to expand access to services, especially water and sanitation. The latest General Household Survey by Statistics


SA of 2019, if you look between the period of 2002 and 2019 we have increased access to water from 84,4% to 88,2% and this is an increase by over 4,5%. However, we have also noted in the same period, that a number of households are not paying for services and we say those who can afford to pay they must be able to pay.



With respect to sanitation on the same period, there was an increase of 20,4%, from 61,7%, to 82,1%. Despite all these advances that we have recorded, we are the first to admit that more still needs to be done especially in rural areas where infrastructure is poor or nonexistent and in urban areas where we continue to experience service delivery disruptions for failures for a variety of reasons.



This budget, if you look at the water service improvement grant and the regional infrastructure grant those communities in rural provinces we say,





... lemini iyeza nakuwe.





The water will be coming with local government because, the Ministry has put a lot of money to address those issues and in our townships.



Water is arguably the most precious resource on earth and we often value and manage it extremely poor. The water infrastructure is part of the network. The price of water traditionally reflects a limited set of costs to treat and transport water, but the value of water is far greater than that.



We need to ensure that we invest in water and sanitation and water resource management because it is vital for national economies and poor communities. Such investments will benefit those countries in a great deal.



We are calling for a public sector and a private sector investment as part of our economic recovery plan that we need to support.



Our President has a full appreciation of the importance of water resource management including water supply and sanitation hence the inclusion of water as an apex priority in


the National Development Plan for the economic recovery and renewal plan of our country.



We must also be able to indicate that the challenges of water remain because of water infrastructure, maintenance and investment, recurring droughts and a number of these other challenges. We are working with the Water Research Commission, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, SA Local Government Association, Salga, and even the private sector and institutional partners that we invest in skills revolution and the technologies that is very required.



We have also noted the issues raised by members around the deteriorating water quality. They are correct, but we have put the task team. We already have 22 expects that are there and working on these particular issues.



With regard to acid mine drainage, we have started that project of the Witwatersrand Acid Mine Drainage, AMD. We should be able to now proceed to Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Northern Cape and our Mine Water Management Policy is already in place.


We agree with the polluter pays principle. Those that are polluting are going to pay. That is why the waste discharged charged system is being finalised and that money is going to be used to conclude those particular issues.



We are very pleased that we will look at the Vaal, Crocodile, West Marico and Olifants water management areas in rolling out this particular programme. By 2025 the whole country will be covered.



With regard to Operation Vulindlela, we are doing an Independent Economic Water Regulator. The Blue Drop and the Green Drop members - the Minister has instructed that those issues of Waste Water Treatment Works in supporting municipalities assessments are being made done, we are expecting to release of the preliminary report at the beginning of next year. There are those municipalities like Tshwane, Mbombela, Modimolle and iLembe, where we will actually roll out the issues of No Drop guidelines.



The issues of water allocation reform will happen so that we can support our resourced poor farmers. In terms of water security issues, of reallocation, water conservation and


demand management we will also be able to implement to deal with these issues.



Let us remain steadfast and we are on cause in building a truly nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and a prosperous society. To the doomsayers, we are the first in the ANC to admit that this project of creating the society is not an easy one. However, let us not lie and say we have not made progress.



South Africa and the world are in the midst of profound challenges, but this epoch is full of opportunities. The prospects are bright and these challenges will be resolved. We remain vigilant in terms of the dangers that we face. We want to confirm that water is essential for life. We shall work together and work very hard to bring safe water and dignify sanitation for all. On this day we remain inspired by the original aspiration of our forebears and our tasks are far from complete in advancing our noble objective of freedom, human rights and social justice. We are motivated by the desire to create and fulfil our promise of a better life for all. God bless South Africa, her sons and daughters. I thank you, Chair.


Rev K R J MESHOE: House Chairperson, the ACDP would like to reiterate a constitutional imperative that all South Africans must have access to clean water and proper sanitation for health, dignity and a decent quality of life. This is not negotiable. According to the director-general of the World Health Organisation, water and sanitation are among the most important determinants of public health. They are amongst the top world organisation’s list of components of primary health care. Whenever people achieve reliable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, they have won a major battle against a wide range of diseases.



Furthermore, according to the water project and international organisation promoting reliable water projects in sub-Saharan Africa, lack of access to safe water and proper sanitation limits education and food production. It harms health and leads to a cycle of poverty. In their report on South Africa, the organisation says and I quote: “Interestingly enough, South Africa boasts one of the cleanest water systems, however, due to lack of sanitation and access in the country’s rural communities, the threat of waterborne diseases is steadily increasing.”


There are over R3 million people living in South Africa without access to basic water supply. In 2018, Statistics SA recorded that 89% of households had access to drinking water, leaving 11% without such access. Although the ACDP acknowledges that our population is growing and that there have been some improvements since 2002, this House knows that a pit toilet with a ventilation pipe is still a pit toilet.

For 39% of South Africans households to have flushing toilets is a disgrace. Access to water and sanitation in high schools, it’s no better.



The Department of Basic Education originally set itself the deadline of 29 November 2016 to ensure that every school had water and sanitation and electricity. When they missed this date, they aimed at 29 November 2020, and not it seems the deadline has been moved to 2030, which the ACDP believes is an admission of failure to deliver the most basic needs of our people as mandated in the Constitution. According to the Basic Education department, no school in South Africa is entirely without water or sanitation, but this is only half the story. Water tankers may supply water for washing of hands, drinking and cooking, but not for flushing toilets. One thousand one hundred and forty-eight South African schools are relying on


them. A further 7 520 schools rely on borehole water. This water needs frequent testing, to make sure it is safe to drink and without piping, will possibly supply a school with only one tap and make flushing toilet impossible. It is very sad to know that there are still 3 710 schools with only illegal pit toilets – the kind that killed Michael Komape and three other learners. [Time expired.]





Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Halala Afrika, halala! Mawubuye uMzantsi Afrika wethu emaseleni, mawubuye!





Hon Minister and hon members, water is becoming one of the world’s most important commodities, and it has already been traded on Wall Street. We know that South Africa is a water scarce country. We have experienced heavy droughts this past few years. Climate change remains a perennial threat that affects biodiversity which in turn threatens our food security yet we do not seem to manage our water resources. ...

[Inaudible.] ...    with future threats in minds and not with the necessary urgency.


Our water crisis is rife with incompetence and mismanagement as evidenced by the O R Tambo District failure. For more than six years it could not finish a water project due to blatant corruption. In Makhanda - Grahamstown area, our people have been faced with dire water service problems, for so long it is inhumane. In Nxuba, neighbour fights neighbour at water points to fill their containers just to survive. The Umzimbuvu Water Project has been in the works for decades and it has been nothing but top and start, and empty government promises since the beginning. Government must address these issues effectively because it is of no use talking budget every year when the money is not properly managed. Looking into the future and the given the vagaries of climate change and the impact of desertification, there is clear need to increase South Africa’s current water and dam capacity because supplying water to people’s home becomes immaterial if there is no massive stock of water at any given time. Vast quantities of water running through rivers of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal ends up unused in the sea.



So, we have an available resource that we can utilise responsibly. We could also, as a long-term strategy, look at importing water from water-rich African countries, like


Nigeria, Congo and Cameroon, and have it shipped in along the coastline from our ports. Separate water pipelines could be built to pump water to the dams and reservoirs in our thirstiest provinces. Water infrastructure development must be prioritised and large investment is required and it will have several significant benefits – it can serve as a catalyst to stimulate agriculture and enhance rural revitalisation in some of the poorest areas of the country. [Time expired.]





Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Ndizakukhumbula ntoni na, ube usisokolisa apha!



USIHLALO WENDLU OBAMBELEYO (Ms M R R Lesoma): Hayi enkosi mhlekazi, liphelile ixesha lakho.





Mr B H HOLOMISA: Bye-bye [Laughter.]



Ms N Q MVANA: Hon Chairperson, the ANC wishes to express its unwavering support for the Budget Vote 41. The tabling of the budget of 2021 financial year comes at a time encapsulated


with challenges of the COVID-19 and budget spending priorities have changed significantly.



The readjustment of the budget was due to the impact of the pandemic on the economy. We must equally commend the department on its efforts and progress made in expanding our water infrastructure and the sustainable use of our water resources.



What I like is that the prior speakers, almost all of them, have identified the shortage of water in our country.



The second one also agrees with us that there is also an increase in population. Which means we will repeatedly ... state of the nation address of 2021, that was done by the President, highlighting two pertinent key strategic areas: accelerating economic recovery and implement economic reforms to create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth.



The department contributes towards achieving these priorities and will continue working and implementing the priorities with the allocated budget for 2021-22 using tools such as District Development Model, DDM, and Operation Vulindlela.


The increase in programme 2, the one of Water Resources Management, of R3,53 billion in the 2021-22, will ensure that the work that has been done within the programme continues to be implemented in this financial year. The purpose of this programme is to ensure that the country’s water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled sustainably for the benefit of all people and the environment. This is done by creating a knowledge base and implementing effective policies, procedures and integrated planning strategies for water resources.



The Government is determined to implement the measures that will fundamentally alter the economic structure and grow the South African economy.



Infrastructure is one of the most important indicators to support the country’s economic growth and social objectives to improve the living conditions of the people of South Africa.



As the ANC we have engaged the department on the work it plans to do for the financial year, for which this budget is allocated with particular interest on projects that need [Inaudible.] to ensure access to clean water – as one speaker


has already staid - the continued expansion of our water infrastructure. These include the Phase 2A of the Makolo, the Crocodile River Projects and the uMkhomazi water project.



These plans are assisting to narrow the inequality gap by making water the enabler in the process of doing so.



Through these projects, the preparation to construct four bulk raw water projects for implementation to complete 20 dam safety evaluations, resulting in a creation of 90 job opportunities from the increased projects during this financial year



These projects will contribute to the growth of the South African economy and reduction in unemployment, inequality, and poverty.





siya sebenza asimanga!





The President pronounced during the 2021 state of the nation address a shortened timeframe for the finalization of water


use authorization in order to accelerate service delivery, to ensuring implementation on Operation Vulindlela, will focus on reforms in the water sector to ensure that water use license applications are finalised within the revised timeframe of 90 days as of the 2021-22 financial year.



The department has been working tirelessly and in the previous financial year some of the achievement of the targets include: seven regional bulk infrastructure project phases completed; two large project phases in Mpumalanga – that have been mentioned by the Deputy Minister - and Free State; 505 job opportunities created through implementing infrastructure projects; 96 regional bulk infrastructure project phases under construction, including eight mega project phases, 58 large project phases and five small project phases Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, two in Free State and Northern Cape. We understand the Umzimvubu crisis and issue, that’s why at lest we are able to make mention of these projects.



There are 358 water services Infrastructure Grant projects under construction.


This brings me to my next point, the Regional Bulk Water Grant, RBIG, and Water Services Infrastructure Grant, WSIG, dominate the budget allocations under the programme. It is worth noting that the majority of these funds will be transferred to municipalities for various bulk water infrastructure projects that will be carried out by the district municipalities.



Furthermore, 72 large regional bulk infrastructure projects will be under construction at various phases during this year under review; while 500 job opportunities will be created through the implementation regional bulk infrastructure projects. These targets are also in line with the 2021 state of the nation address.



The development of a five-year water and sanitation reliability plans at the district municipalities is one of the examples of DDM initiatives, aimed at accelerating service delivery. The ANC wishes to reiterate the support for the District Development Model, which has been successfully piloted across three district municipalities. The District Development Model, which is led by Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, CoGTA, is to be integrated


[Time expired.] The ANC supports this budget. Happy to South Africans [Inaudible.] Thank you.



Mr S N AUGUST: Hon Chair, every single South African and every part of our economic system depends on the safe and sustainable provision of water. This is why the national Department of Water and Sanitation must take its critical role more seriously.



The department must implement our world leading water legislation. This is something critical when discussing this budget.



The department must take action against individuals, companies and municipalities who are discharging waste and sewerage in our rivers and wetlands. The more rivers we pollute; the fewer places we can afford to get safe drinking water from.



Fining those who break the law would mean the polluters pay for the damage they caused, it would mean the communities around our rivers and wetlands would be safer.


The department also needs to look carefully at bulk water charges. These charges to municipalities are just the few cents per kilolitre, don’t really reflect the true cost of water.



The worst is that the small amounts allocated to catchment management are totally insufficient.



Cape Nature, for example, manages a lot of critical mountainous land in the Western Cape, but only R8 million per year is allocated for clearing out thirsty invasive trees.



On a recent oversight trip to the Northern Cape, and having written to the Minister, the [Inaudible.] Dam was cleared of trees that would typically drain the dam and therefore, provide insufficient water to the surrounding communities.



If we continue allocating small budgets to water resources, it means that, for an example, we’ll take more than 300 years to clear out the catchment that Cape Nature manages. Our rivers and wetlands would have dried up long before that.


Instead of allowing expensive desalination plants to be approved, the national department has to look at how it can promote and enhance better catchment management so that we can get more water from our mountains and keep the taps running, even in drought times.



Not only does catchment clearing create thousands and thousands of jobs, but it’s also the cheapest way for us to get water.



Our appeal for more realistic bulk water brought to ... [Inaudible.] ... and insist that more money is allocated for catchment clearing. I thank you.



Mr C H M SIBISI: Thank you Chair. The NFP would like to stress that the issue of access to water and sanitation will remain a challenge for South Africa for two simple reasons. One, increasing migration into developed provinces and cities in the country and two, lack of economic activities, development and growth in underdeveloped provinces in the country.



The issue of provincial migration creates a huge concentrated influx of people in single parts of the country residing in


significant demands on access to water, electricity and sanitation.



Looking at the Gauteng province alone, Statistics SA that between 2016 and 2021 the province has seen a largest influx of people about 1,55 million moving to the province. The increase therefore puts pressure on the province to supply the basic needs required for livelihoods by our people.



When people move from one province to another, where do they actually end up staying in that province? According to the housing department agents, more than 4 million people or 1,25 million households currently live in urban informal settlement residing in a certain demand on access to water, sanitation and electricity.



This is evident in Dunoon, Milnerton and Marikana informal settlement and Phillipi both in the city of Cape Town. In Ratanang informal settlement in Klerksdorp and in Siyanda informal settlements in Kwamashu, Ethekweini just to name a few.


But the problem is much deeper than that hon House Chair. People migrate from one province to another in search of a better life and employment opportunities. If we look at the rating at which migration from province to province has surged in the last ten years, the [Inaudible.] could not be further from the truth.



Why don’t we focus on investing on the underdeveloped provinces where most of our people migrate from? Channel infrastructure development in those parts by increasing economic activity that will result in job creation and growth in those provinces. This will address the many challenges that this department and many provinces cannot address with their limited budgets to provide service delivery in those communities. I thank you House Chair



Mr M A TSEKI: Good afternoon Chairperson. Can you remind me


when I’m left with one minute if possible?





Ha e kgutle Afrika, ha e kgutle!





Hon Chairperson let me start by saying that the ANC supports this budget vote and the work that the Department of Water and Sanitation and its entities encashment agencies and what it aims to do in this 2021/22 financial year.



In commemoration of Africa Day, the words of President of Rwanda Comrade Kagame in 2013 said:



“Africa stories have been written by others, we need to own our problems and solutions and write our own stories”.



Today 25 May 2021, we as the people of the South are further saying that Africa will never be under colonial bondage rule again.



The rivers of the continent are webs that extend the frankness of African solidarity in building relations for African economic a development. Tlatse Dam in Lesotho Highlands water scheme and Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia has the testimony that Africa we are one.


It feels good to be an African against the colonial curse of 1652. We must note that it’s better to be close to those friends that mean the word friendship.



The people of Cuba have shown us that they are not here to exploit the minerals of the country but they are here to pay solidarity of human development. Unlike those that arrived in 1652, they came here and became friendly and only to find that that they are here to exploit the resources of the African people. Yes, indeed it feels good to be an African. In this we declare for eternality that it feels good to be an African.



The Department of Water and Sanitation needs supporting entities has revised their strategies and annual performance plan for the financial year 2021/22 to adapt and to advance the priorities of the year.



The Department of Water and Sanitation became central …





… ha re ne re welwa ke sewa sa Covid-19. Ra tswa ka la polokgwaba ho pholosa setjhaba kgahlanong le kgodumodumo corona. Metsi, manyabolo ya eba pina ho atlela diatla metseng


le metsaneng. Mme MaSisulu le mahlahane a hao, re le rolela kgaebana. Re re pula ha ena e nele bana ba ntate Matemela Ramaphosa.





Furthermore, Sona 2021 the President spoke about prioritising woman emancipation, woman empowerment. In 2015 the theme of Africa Day was:



“The year of women empowerment and development agenda towards Africa’s Agenda 63”.



In so doing, the department and its entity contribute to redress in South Africa through accelerating the economic recovery and reconstruction plan sink in the financial year targets.



Hon Chairperson, the legacy of the past has let marginalisation by race, gender, location or geographical area begins to address the imbalances of democratic 27 years has been somewhat reversed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, there is a need now more than ever to create opportunities for women, youth and people living with disability.


We as the ANC welcome and appreciate the budget allocation of R11,4 billion in programme 3, water service management for this financial year. This programme aims to develop the rehabilitation and refurbished raw water resources and water service infrastructure to meet the socio economic environment needs of South Africa.



The department and its supporting entities and encashment management agencies will continue and work to achieve this work. Also, based on the current phase, our democracy’s role of state entities and encashment agencies remain integral in the achievement of the developmental goals we have set ourselves to build an egalitarian society.



Hon Chairperson, despite the financial constraints, many of these entities have received unqualified audits as the Minister and the Chairperson have already said.



Chairperson, improved economic ecological infrastructure, the plans to classify the brid gourage. This is what we are planning to do.


Mzimbuvu and Berg water resources monitor the main stand rivers in the [Inaudible.], Crocodile, Komati and Usithu encashment to develop Crocodile west, Limpopo and Mzimbuvu and Tsitsikama acid mine drainage to improve basic services. The plan is to complete the national sanitation situation analysis and monitor 339 compliant water systems and 368 non-compliant water system and complete 11 bulk water sanitation services project phases are on track. The water service authority ...



The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M M R Lesoma): Hon Tseki, as


I show my face you’re left with one minute as promised.



Mr M A TSEKI: Thank you very much. On this day we echo the words of our fore bearers that they set in 1963 in the conference of founding of the AU, African Union which was then OAU. They said:



“We mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement that symbolizes the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from the foreign domination and exploitation”.


We therefore move for the adoption of this budget. It feels good to be African, it feels good to be closer to the Cuban revolutionaries. Thank you very much



Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Thank you very much hon House Chair. Hon House Chair, Al Jama-ahah supports this budget and we want to bring to the attention of the Minister, the serious water crisis in the Ugu District in KwaZulu-Natal. It has been raised in this House. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta summons ed nearly 40 of those involved in creating this calamity.



Hon Chair, nothing has changed for past six months as the residents of Braemar in the Umndoni Local Municipality continues to be deprived of the warmer water supply. The water challenges of Ugu District Municipality show no signs of

...[Inaudible.] Residents in Braemar receive water twice a week for a few hours and they are informed that there is water selling, nearly as the DA says day zero in Cape Town. This is unacceptable and the department must investigate this urgently as lives and livelihoods of people are being affected.


It looks like there is competition between the Harry Gwala District Municipality and the Ugu District Municipality. The Harry Gwala District Municipality is stealing the water that is meant for the Ugu District Municipality. This needs to be sorted out because the facility was funded by the Ugu District Municipality and now the Harry Gwala District Municipality is stealing the water. It reminds me of Egypt and another African country that are fighting over water, but this at the municipal level.



Currently, residents in Braemar receive water for two nights in a week not during the day but in the night. We would like to bring that to the attention of the Minister. We would like to tell the Minister that, the hard work of the department with regards to housing and housing opportunity has not gone unnoticed and the country is proud of that. However, more needs to be done with regards to sewage pollution, where water treatments plants are used to pump sewage into water ways. As aware now it is a very grey area, I am not sure whether it is department of ... [Inaudible] ... or the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation. This is a is a very serious problem.


I wish the Minister everything of the best to deliver her mandate to issue title deeds. That is what it is about. The Minister had the support of the Deputy President as he is fast tracking restitution and more people will get housing opportunities. So, exciting times lie ahead for South Africans with the leadership of the Minister and her team. Thank you very much hon House Chair.



Ms N N SIHLWAYI: Thank you very much hon Chair and good afternoon to the Members of Parliament. The Budget Vote 41 takes place on during a very special day in our continent, today it is Africa Day. As we commemorate this day, we acknowledge prevailing challenges including improving the quality of living, sanitation, ecological issues, fighting climate change and hunger amongst others. We remain hopeful and committed to work towards change.



Hon Chair, allow me to present an appeal by one of our leaders, mama Charlotte Maxeke when addressing a Non-European European Conference in 1930 in the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape. ...





... uthi, - ndizakuyithetha ngesintu bantu bakuthi, uthi: Kuyo yonke into oyifumeneyo ...





... please distribute as much information as possible. Do away with that fearful animal of jealousy, ill that spirit, and love one another as brothers and sisters. The other animal that will tear apart into pieces is tribalism; I saw the shadow of it and it should cease to be. Stand by your motto. Do unto others as ye would that they should unto you. The golden rule





Uyacenga xa ebona isizwe sakuthi siphalala.





Chair, I will not present any speech but I will deal with the issues that are pertinent, that come from the members. Hon Leon is a member of the committee and is addressing the Minister to say, do away with the Cubans. He is mentioning the issue of the high cost. The question that I ask: Is it the high cost or the quality that we want? One of the issues that perhaps we should remind the hon member is that, in 1992 the


former number ones who were leading the apartheid state, took a decision when they feel, there is a pain ...





... kuyaduduma iANC ...





... is coming. They adopted a repression process which says, jobs should only be for whites. I think that it becomes important that, with all the challenges that we are faced within here today, the infrastructure that is falling apart, it was a decision for the machinery of that particular state. Now, Cubans must come and assist us and deal with the issue of the quality of the services that we are getting.



The issue of looting by the ANC, was it not that looting in 1992 when you took a decision to say, we must make sure that we increase the government debt. We must make sure that we increase the social services, because you saw that as a soft spot. You took a decision to create a faction where you said there should be Bantustan systems as people that will be able to help you ...




... xa ifikile le nqwelo imasondo-sondo.





I want to raise those issues, so that we should understand where we are coming from. People should not speak about now; they should speak about what they did during the apartheid state.






Ms N N SIHLWAYI: There is an issue here of pollution. Who is polluting and why? The community is now getting very, very unhealthy water and the department has been dealing with these polluters, they resist. It is because they are former number ones. They know what they are benefitting. It is what we call monopoly capita, they would not like any other person to participate in the programme where they benefit money. that is why the department id addressing the issue of polluters together with the illegal dams that are being constructed.





Amanye loo madama awungekhe uwabone asemahlathini.




They are resisting what is the programme of the department. The department is very clear about transformation in terms of addressing inequalities, in these particular issues.



Coming to the EFF, the EFF participates in the committee, but when you listen to them they are strangers in all programmes. I am aware that they did not support the budget even in the committee. But, how they speak, they speak as populists because they should be clear about other programmes, which today they are criticising.



The issue of not approving the budget, we are used to it from the EFF. I wonder if their constituency knows that, the budget which is a transformation tool is not being approved by their deployees in Parliament. What are they saying? I wish for the day that all those that are not approving the budget, we don’t give them services where they come from, rejecting the budget for the second tiome.



The other issue Chair is that, perhaps we must not fight with the EFF, you see because ...




... ngooqengqelekile. Uba ukhe umbone umntu xa eqengqelelkile okomxoxozi wojodo, umbonbe sele ehleli phaya.





They have no plan to govern. They don’t understand how it is to govern, but they are busy saying, we are replacing the ANC. That is why they are rejecting the budget. No plan, no strategy ...





... basuke bangena kwathiwa hlalani, nizakubhatalwa.





It is important that people should know that ...





... abanye abantu bangene njee ...





... with no plans to deal with this issue. The development model is a mechanism to make sure that there is value for


money from different departments. There is value for money and is economical to put services so that, ...





... kungaphunywa kungenwa kanti lo mntu uphumayo naye unayo imali yokuncedisa ...





... in the programme. The hon Buthelezi, corrupt officials, the heads must roll. Perhaps it is that, when you deal with the disciplinary process, and deal with the consequence management, we don’t go to the streets and shout and say ...





... ndimgxothile ohloniphekileyo uSihlwayi, ndimgxothile lowa.





... because we are trying to protect them. I think we need to appreciate what the Minister has done and she continues to present to us. When we came, we were very worried about the corruption that is in the department and she presented to us how far and how many have been dealt with. I am saying perhaps we should do that, to publicise ...




... ukuba umama uSihlwayi uthethe wathi ...





... people should understand that it is also another human rights issue. The ACDP ... [Time Expired.] The ANC supports the budget. Thank you very much.





you very much, hon Chair. Hon Chair, let me thank the members of the ANC who supported this Bill. It’s very clear to me when I listened to this discussion here, who has the interest of the people at heart and who does not have the interest of the people at heart.



Those who have voted against the Bill or the Vote - hon Sihlwayi suggesting that we don’t provide services to their people and telling them that their members in Parliament are busy grandstanding on something that does not matter to their lives instead of making sure that we provide water.



Hon Basson, hon Tseki here was talking about people who were left over from the 1652 invasion of white people in this


country. What he forgot to say is that they left you behind because your thinking has not moved on from 1652. That’s where you and you tell us that we are putting up all these ploys about water shortages to try and scam of money from government. That’s probably what you did in the Western Cape. We had day zero here were you trying to scam money of the municipalities? Now that you say so maybe we should go back to the books of the municipalities and find and try to understand. This is a universal phenomenon. We have no water in this county and the level of water that we would like to have.



We have a very dry country. This has been repeatedly to all of you over and over. We are the 33th driest country in the world. What we are doing now is trying to use all the resources available to us to provide our people with water.



Your responsibility, each one of you is to see to it that your constituency have water. Find out from the department how can you help to provide your people instead of grandstanding here.


The EFF member here should go and register with the National School of Government. Her knowledge of government is zero. I would tide my head in shame if I were her.



Hon Basson, you and the solidarity community can go to court. I will meet you there. And I want to tell you that this relationship between Cuba and ourselves is cast in stone. It is not about whether or not you like it. There is a bilateral Cuba South Africa relationship which is part and parcel of the bilateral relationship between the heads of state of South Africa and Cuba and binding on all of us including yourselves. So, go to court, I will find you there.



We are implementing part of our foreign policies as a community of nations and we cannot abdicate our responsibilities from that. Those who have supported me in the name of Sharlotte Maxete I think that this is very apt and we and we would like to ensure that we dedicate this particular Budget Vote to Mama Sharlotte Maxete and it is happening in Africa Day. It indicates to us just how much we need to hold into what we have because we need every drop.


Hon Holomisa, you missed out some of the of the things that we had to say earlier on because you would had known that we are trying to source water from other countries in Africa and we had over choice from the DRC and we will be following up on that.



Hon Meshoe, let me indicate to you before you do that again because you will be making a fool of yourself, the sanitation programme in schools is under the Department of Basic Education. I don’t know what you will be saying to your grandchildren when you get back home and you don’t know that basic responsibility. You have been in Parliament for so long. You should know that.



Hon Al-Jama-Ah, I was informed about the Ugu problem. I think he was the first to be informed about the problem. I know about it. I asked the Umngeni Board to go and assist. Water that was given to that particular area is with assistant from Umngeni. We are dealing with the problem and we are hoping soon we will be able to get over that.



Hon Mey, who has just left way in the wilderness, I don’t know


how you could have been left so behind. We will provide you


with notes next time so that you understand that space that you are in because the more you talk the more you it is quite clear to us that you are out in the dark about what is happening. You just came near because you just wanted to grandstand and say I don’t agree with that.



We will provide you with documentation with the necessary information to ensure that you are well informed so that you go to your constituency and say that this what we’re doing on your behalf and you become here and what you are saying here is absolutely hot air, absolutely hot air. No relationship to what it is what we do on a regular basis.



My team and I sit down almost a day of the week trying to take you through this difficult environment which we pour water. It is a difficult environment. Scarcity in water is not man-made. It is a natural phenomenon that we have to live with and we had to find ways in solving that. That’s why we have taken on the responsivity of finding alternatives. I am gland there is somebody who indicated to you that as you grandstanding today. During the Covid-19 period, we will carry you.


The Department of Water and Sanitation provided an innovative way of providing you with water for you to survive that Corvid period. Today you grandstand and you don’t know anything about what we are doing.



Hon Mey, you are doom and gloom and telling me about water what you still call PE. PE was for last year. I would have been in PE. I have been to that municipality. I have supported them and I have given them the money which is better than anything you would be able to say out here. I don’t know when you get back home what it is that you will contributed to the wellbeing of the South African people and their constituencies in particular.



But in closing, I would like to say Hon Holomisa all of those people you are talking about the financial irregularities, they probably learn from you. I don’t know but it always happened somewhere in the Eastern Cape. You go and fix it.

Make sure you can undo what it is that they have inherited. It is imported that you understand that water is very valuable. I am glad you understand that please say it more often and Makhanda and OR, please be there to support them. Those are


very dry areas. Those are water service authorities and they have responsibility for providing water for their people.



Money which is not managed properly, that is not true and you know that. We explained to you, the processes that we have undertaken and some of these matters are within the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, and the police. We have already had one conviction out of the irregularities of money and it is important that you speak the truth at all times when you are in front of the people and you want to have your credibility intact





Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Ayikho le nto uyithethayo. Ayikho nje xa iyonke, uzokuxokisa abantu apha.



The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M R R Lesoma): Point of order, hon Holomisa. May you allow the Minster to ...





Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Awunanyani kakubi.


The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M R R Lesoma): Point of order. You may proceed, hon Minister and sum-up please. Hon Minister? Can we unmute the Minister so that you can hear her words?







Makathule uHolomisa, ixesha lakhe liphelile. Makaye ... [Ngokungavakaliyo.]





Go to your people and teach them proper governance.





Le nto banayo ngoku, bayifumana kuwe, ...





... it was your inheritance.



Mr B H HOLOMISA: You are confused.



The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M R R Lesoma): Thank you, hon member.


An HON MEMBER: Is you who is confused, hon Holomisa.



The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M R R Lesoma): No, no, hon


member. [Interjections.] No, no, order please. [Interjections.]





Basson, I will meet you in court. Thank you.



The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M R R Lesoma): Thank you, hon Minister. Hon members we shall now proceed and conclude the debate and the business of this virtual mini-plenary session. The mini plenary now will rise.



Debate concluded.



The mini-plenary rose at: 16:12




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