Minister urges water boards to service Limpopo villages

Monday, August 26, 2019

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has directed the Lepelle Northern Water Board (LNW) and the Department of Water and Sanitation Limpopo Water Utility to urgently provide water to over 100 villages that are currently without water.

“Our people’s needs are primary. We made a promise to them 10 years ago that their lives will be better and we have no excuse but to live up to the promises we made. The people of Limpopo can no longer be denied this basic human right,” Sisulu said.

Sisulu made the call during a meeting held recently in Limpopo with the water boards to get a briefing on the challenges and successes faced by the entity in the execution of its responsibility.

Since July, the Minister has been meeting water boards to understand their challenges, with the intention of finding lasting solutions.

Some of the challenges raised by the board included non-payment for services rendered, ageing infrastructure, deteriorating raw water quality, as well as lack of water quantification and conservation management by municipalities.

During the meeting, Sisulu raised concern that water boards were only responsible for bulk water, whilse she strongly believes that the department and its entities should also be responsible for reticulation.

“The current arrangement is that the department and the boards provide bulk water, while municipalities are responsible for ensuring that there is water in the taps,” the Minister said.

The boards committed to respond positively to the Minister’s directive by ensuring that they do everything possible to provide basic services to the people of Limpopo.

The Minister made an undertaking to visit Limpopo before the end of the year to meet with traditional leaders, community members and the Limpopo Provincial Government.

She also held a meeting with the Overberg Water Board, which is responsible for providing bulk water services to the Western Cape municipalities. –