Call to accelerate Limpopo water infrastructure projects

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Water and Sanitation (DWS) Minister Senzo Mchunu has issued a call to officials at national, provincial and local government levels to work speedily and in a coordinated manner to complete delayed water infrastructure projects in Limpopo.

Mchunu made the call on the first of his three-day visit to Limpopo, where he is meeting different stakeholders to assess water and sanitation challenges.

Mchunu was joined by Deputy Ministers David Mahlobo and Dikeledi Magadzi, and provincial government led by Premier Stanley Mathabatha to devise means to improve the provision of water and sanitation services in the province.

Outlining the rationale for his visit to the province, Mchunu said that access to water is not a privilege, but a basic right that everyone must enjoy, and “it is government’s constitutional mandate to fulfil this right.”

He decried delays in the completion of infrastructure projects.

“We need to plan better; we need to do better than we have been doing in the past and work for the people by fast tracking projects within the allocated budget. It cannot be correct that projects take longer than they are supposed to, notwithstanding some of the challenges that come along the way, but some of the challenges are our own creation,” Mchunu said on Tuesday.

He said things should be done differently to realise the National Development Plan (NDP) ideals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to provide water and sanitation services to all.

Interacting with Premier Mathabatha, Mchunu recommitted the department under his leadership to work tirelessly to improve the lives of the people; but he emphasised that the national government cannot do this alone, and provincial and local government needs to come on board.

“We need you to make us to account if we are failing in our mandate and we will certainly take you to task from our end if we feel that you are failing on your part. This is not about us, but it is about the people getting services that they so deserve. We need to treat our communities with the dignity that they deserve.”

Mchunu later held a meeting with Lepelle Northern Water Board to outline projects they are busy with in the province, and the challenges they are facing in the implementation thereof, and what capacity they need.

The Minister called on the department’s officials to introspect and check their moral compass as they work towards carrying out their duties.

“I urge you all to deliver services to our people with vigour, and the best of your ability. In 2021, we cannot afford to have people in Giyani who are still without consistent water supply,” he said.

Premier Mathabatha commended Mchunu and his team for the engagement, saying this is a welcome intervention.

Mchunu is expected to meet with various stakeholders in Giyani on Wednesday, and will conclude his visit to the province with a meeting with various municipalities with water and sanitation related challenges. – SAnews.gov.za

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