Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has committed his department to deliver fresh water to the rural communities of Joe Morolong and Ga-Segonyana Local Municipalities from the Vaal-Gamagara Bulk Water Supply Scheme in the Northern Cape.
Mchunu made the commitment during a Rural Water Seminar held recently at Tsineng Village in Kuruman, where he engaged with the rural communities of the two municipalities that have been struggling to get reliable and uninterrupted water supply.
In his address, Mchunu explained that water security in the rural communities from the two municipalities, with less than a 200 000-strong population combined, will be brought through by the second phase of the R4.8 billion Vaal-Gamagara Water Supply Scheme.
Mchunu said the project will be a joint venture between the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Mining Leadership Forum (MLF) in the Northern Cape.
He said the second phase of the water project will entail the laying of the 260-kilometre pipeline, from the Vaal River Pump Station up to Roscoe in Gamagara Municipality, and communities along the pipeline, including the two municipalities, stand to benefit as the project gets underway.
“The scheme seeks to bring water from the river to the people, and for the people to be able to receive sustainable water supply. There is a list of infrastructure that needs to be built, including a pipeline from the river, water treatment works, reservoirs and pumpstations - and all these need to also be maintained daily to continuously provide water to communities in a sustainable manner,” the Minister told the community.
The Minister emphasised that access to fresh and clean water is a right of every individual as enshrined in the country’s Constitution.
“The government of South Africa has prioritised water supply to the households of communities in both rural and urban areas. This is the right that you should enjoy and we, as the Department of Water and Sanitation, have been tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the people of this country have equitable access to clean water.
“We are here to inform you that there is a second phase of the Vaal Gamagara Water Scheme that is going to ensure that all communities, particularly in rural areas, have water at their homes. We have completed the first phase of the project and it will benefit most communities in Kathu area,” Mchunu said.
He said the department, together with the provincial and local government, have agreed to work together to deliver sustainable water and sanitation services to communities.
New water board to service FS and NC
Meanwhile, as part of accelerating service delivery, the Minister told the residents that the department is in the process of establishing a new water board to service Free State and the Northern Cape Provinces.
He explained that the process involves expanding the Bloem Water boundary to cover the province and rename the water board to be inclusive of both provinces.
Mchunu reiterated his call to the community to save water, noting that South Africa is a water scarce country, particularly in Northern Cape, which is characterised by lack of rain and high temperatures.
“In as much as you have a right to water, we appeal to you to use it efficiently and sparingly. Do not waste water, and double your efforts to save it so that you can always have access to water without any interruption,” Mchunu said. – SAnews.gov.za