Progress made in upgrading Emfuleni critical water infrastructure

Friday, October 27, 2023

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has expressed satisfaction with the progress made on the repairs and upgrade of critical bulk water infrastructure such as pipelines and pump stations in the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

Mchunu, who accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa on an oversight visit to Emfuleni on Friday, acknowledged that at no stage in the past had government reached this level of cleaning up of sewers and fixing sanitation and water infrastructure.

“It’s the first time we’ve reached this level. Yesterday there was a meeting, first of its kind, convened by our special advisor, bringing in Rand Water, Emfuleni Local Municipality, provincial government and stakeholders; bringing them on board to make sure that whatever we have achieved and all the progress, cannot be reversed, but can only be taken up,” Mchunu said. 

In order to prevent reversing, Mchunu said, Emfuleni must appoint a water and sanitation service provider under them, that will to do the job of water and sanitation services for the people of Emfuleni, at a required quality and level. 

“They are seeking Rand Water to do that job as a service provider to them, instead of them doing it themselves because they have no capacity [and] I’ve seen them with my eyes. They are trying to catch up, but it is not really doable in the foreseeable future. That’s guaranteed; this report will come to us on 15 November to say we agreed,” Mchunu said.

President Ramaphosa led an oversight visit by government to the Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng. 

The municipality incorporates areas including Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark, Sharpeville, Sebokeng, Boipatong and others. 

The economically and socially important Vaal River also flows through this area.

Joined by a number of Ministers, including Mchunu, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, and provincial and municipal leadership - the President assessed progress in improvements to service delivery, as well as challenges that remain.

The municipality has faced difficulties in the provision of water services, leading the Department of Water and Sanitation to intervene to upgrade critical bulk pipelines and pump stations infrastructure.

The President’s visit took place in the context of the District Development Model (DDM), which aims to improve cooperative governance through integrated intergovernmental planning and budgeting.

It is also a fulfilment of a commitment made by the President that he would visit all provinces as part of the “Leave No One Behind” District Development Model series of Presidential Izimbizo.

During the oversight, the President visited Sebokeng Waste Water Treatment Plant, Evaton West Pump Station, and later held an engagement with local stakeholders at Vereeniging Community Hall. –