Poor infrastructure blamed for water shortages

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pretoria - Poor infrastructure and lack of funding have been blamed for the water shortages in parts of the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.

Both areas have been hit by severe droughts in recent months as dams dried up.

However, during her visit to both provinces this week, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said a number of issues were raised including dilapidated infrastructure and under-funding as a cause for the water shortages.

"I have realised that the serious water problem here talks to infrastructure and water availability in all areas. There are further challenges of serious under-funding at all levels. The matter of population increase is also not followed by funding," said Sonjica.

In his recent visit to Kuruman, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was informed that locals had not been receiving sufficient water since August.

Sonjica said it also appeared that local municipalities were not doing well in servicing the areas, adding to this was due to a lack of capacity in terms of operations and maintenance of infrastructure.

"This definitely impacts on service delivery. There is also a backlog in the provision of infrastructure in an area that is most dependent on ground water," said the minister.