Gauteng war room to avert water crisis

Friday, March 23, 2018

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says they will set up a water war room to avoid water crisis in the province.

This came up at the  Premier’s Coordinating Forum (PCF), which aims to promote and facilitate intergovernmental relations between the provincial government and various municipalities to ensure integrated effective and efficient service delivery across the province.

Among the issues discussed at the forum held on Friday included water security in the province.

Water experts from different institutions, who attended the meeting, noted that Gauteng uses 11% of the country's water, whilst contributing 38% to the national economy.

The experts said it was clear that the volume of water required by 2025 would not be met, if additional storage infrastructure was not built and investment into the additional dams was not given the priority it deserved.   

They also agreed that water security can only be achieved only if there is an adequate, safe, reliable and affordable supply to all consumers.

The panel of experts further noted that infrastructure is insurance against uncertainty and therefore, Gauteng had to invest in adequate water infrastructure.

Premier Makhura, who convened the forum, said the Gauteng City Region (GCR) is very vulnerable with regards to facing a water crisis and this is due to its location, the type of economy run, and the number of people, which the province attracts.

“We need to agree on setting up a water war room that will be made up of representatives from the provincial government and local government. This war room will have both a political and technical component which will be used to identify trends and respond to those,” Premier Makhura said.

All municipalities in Gauteng are represented in the PCF and meet regularly to look at issues of service delivery and investment in infrastructure.  

The Premier announced that a war summit will be convened in June, where a plan to deal with water security and sustainability will be adopted. – SAnews.gov.za

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