President Zuma concludes visit to Kwaggafontein

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Friday concluded a successful visit to Kwaggafontein in Thembisile Hani Municipality, Mpumalanga.

The President undertook the visit as part of the Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring through which he visits communities to monitor the performance of government.

President Zuma's visit was a fulfilment of a commitment he made to the people of Kwaggafontein in February this year while on a walkabout in Marabastad, Pretoria.

The President promised to visit the area to monitor the delivery of basic services after he received complaints that the community was going through acute water shortage due to drought.

The President on Friday visited KwaMhlanga Hospital, which had also been affected by water shortages. He was pleased to be informed that water supply to the hospital has been restored due to measures taken by various government entities. The hospital is functioning well now and the patients are receiving the proper care they deserve.

“He also handed over houses to three families, who have lived in informal dwellings for many years. One of the families is headed by an 84 year old grandmother who lives with her grandchildren. Another household is headed by a 29 year old who is an orphan and lives with her two children,” the Presidency said on Friday.

Members of the community obtained the opportunity to raise their concerns during the community meeting presided over by President Zuma.

Water supply

One of their major concerns involved the shortage of water supply. Part of the problem is that the municipality loses a large amount of water through water leaks.

“In order to address this problem, the Department of Water and Sanitation has appointed Rand Water to address the issue of illegal water connections in the municipality. The purpose is to ensure that illegal water connections which contribute to water losses are done away with by installing formal connections,” the Presidency said.

Furthermore, Rand Water and Dr JS Moroka Municipality will increase their supply of water to Thembisile municipality in order to meet the current demand.

“On a long term basis, Rand Water will take over the responsibility of bulk water supply and will build water treatment works, sourcing water from Loskop Dam.

“The water from that dam will provide a sustainable and reliable source of water supply to Thembisile Hani municipality,” the Presidency said.

Other government interventions in the area include a R3.7 billion investment by the Department of Transport to upgrade the Moloto road over the next five years. Other government entities have been busy implementing programmes that improve the quality of life of people in Thembisile Hani municipality.

One of the biggest challenges in ensuring water supply in this area is non-revenue water. “The Non-revenue water, which is essentially water that is produced but lost and not properly accounted for, of this area, is estimated to be about 33% which translate to about 18Ml/d.”  

To address this, the Department of Water and Sanitation has appointed Rand Water to address the challenge with the intention of addressing mainly water lost through leaks and unauthorized water consumption in the area. This will immediately introduce additional water into the water supply system of the area.

“A further intervention to deal with household leaks is the War on Leaks programme. For the phase 2 intake, the Mpumalanga Province has been allocated 740 learners to be trained as Artisans and Water Agents to deal with this challenge,” the Presidency said.

Electrification of houses

In addition, one of the programmes by government in the area, is the electrification of houses in Sun City village outside KwaMhlanga.

Improvement in governance

There is also marked improvement in the governance of the municipality. Before the last local government elections Thembisile Hani municipality was placed under administration.

Today its systems of governance have improved and it is no longer under administration.

The improvements at the municipality mirror improvements in other municipalities.

“In its recent publication Statistics South Africa has reported that the delivery of basic services increased between 2014 and 2015. The provision of electricity increased by 4.3 percent, water by 2.5 percent, sewerage and sanitation by 4.2 percent and solid waste management by 5.3 percent,” the Presidency said.

The report noted that Free Basic Services are provided to 12.9 million consumer units or service delivery points.

“A total of 2.4 million (67.8%) indigent households benefited from free water services. Free basic electricity was provided to 2.2 million (62.8%) indigent households. Free Basic Services include the provision of 6 kilolitres of water per household per month and 50kwh of electricity per household per month,” the Presidency said.

The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation will monitor the implementation of the undertakings made at Kwaggafontein and keep the President informed of progress made. –