08 Jun

South Africa needs government’s assurance that the country’s water security situation will not worsen because of red tape, pollution, the dragging of feet or corruption.

UASA warned years ago that South Africa is in danger of potable water shortages. Parts of the country are already running dry and it is estimated that there will be a water supply deficit of 17% by 2030.

Operation Phakisa, the Department Water and Sanitation’s national water and sanitation master plan, was launched in 2014 as a fast results delivery programme with a comprehensive set of measures meant to address backlogs in infrastructure investment and the institutional reform in water management.

Today, 6 years later, millions of South Africans still have no access to safe, affordable, reliable potable water and sanitation, maybe never will, while hundreds of farmers are struggling to produce food due to an unreliable water supply.

This week, following the rejection of a presentation from the Department of Water and Sanitation and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) on proposals for the 2020/21 water tariff increase, Rand Water has raised concerns about its future financial sustainability.

Rand Water said the rejection of its tariff increase proposal means that it will have to prioritise its planned projects on the short to medium terms, which will have an impact on all the municipalities serviced by Rand Water and will curtail Rand Water’s ability to finance necessary future bulk water infrastructure maintenance programmes.

Rand water serves municipalities in Gauteng and parts of three other provinces bordering Gauteng.

UASA warns that unless urgent measures are taken to address the issue of water security, the water situation might degenerate to a second Eskom. There is no time to waste.

Access to water is a right enshrined in chapter 8 of our Constitution. UASA expects government and the Department of Water and Sanitation to act accordingly without delay. 

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Stanford Mazhindu at 074 978 3415

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