Mpuma rolls out tankers to tackle water problems

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nelspruit - As an immediate intervention, Mpumalanga will be rolling out water tankers in a number of municipalities to help deal with the water challenges facing the province.

Mpumalanga is faced with vast water related challenges, including the illegal abstraction or the theft of water, pollution and issues of a lack of access by certain communities.

Although there had been progress in providing people with water and sanitation services in Mpumalanga, 1.6 million of the province's residents still have no access to potable water and 2.6 million have no access to sanitation services.

"A total of 30 boreholes with tanks and security fences will be resuscitated and commissioned in Mbombela," said MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Norman Mokoena.

In Bushbuckridge, he said, a total of 25 existing boreholes will be resuscitated and trucks will be withdrawn, while 30 existing boreholes will be resuscitated in Nkomazi and 10 boreholes will be revamped in Albert Luthuli.

Mokoena said the two-day Water Indaba, held in the province this week was fruitful, as stakeholders across the three spheres of government emerged with strong long term resolutions to assist the roll out of water provision throughout the province.

"A framework for the Provincial Water Plan had been created and annual platforms established. Quick wins have been identified and the role players will develop action plans for execution."

The resolutions of the indaba will be included in the Provincial Economic Summit, which will be held later this year.

Over the past few months, the province had been hit hard by a number of service delivery protests.

Affected municipalities include Thaba Chweu, Mkhondo, Emalahleni, Dipaleseng, Steve Tshwete, Mbombela, Albert Luthuli, Thembisile Hani, Pixely Ka Seme and Lekwa.

Mokoena said a task team dispatched to some of the districts had indicated that there was a lack of investment in water, sanitation, electricity and road infrastructure.

"We must also acknowledge that the infrastructure in municipalities is quite old, which is the major cause of service delivery interruptions and this will require us to move with speed in correcting the situation," he said.