Water and Sanitation to appear before committee

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Department of Water and Sanitation will today brief the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation on new developments in the department. 

The briefing, to be held in Cape Town, will centre on a report of progress achieved since the launch of the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan in May this year. 

The master plan sets out the framework for managing water resources and provision of water and sanitation services in the short, medium and long-term. 

Since the launch of the plan, the department has held a series of provincial consultative workshops to get inputs from various stakeholders across the country. 

The department will give an outline of the process to develop the master plan, and announce when the final plan is expected to be ready. 

Independent Economic Regulator 

The department will also brief the committee on the need for the establishment of an Independent Economic Regulator within the sector to effectively address the challenges of insufficient investment in maintenance, refurbishment and replacement of infrastructure. 

The national regulatory function lies with the Minister, and the department is responsible for policy-making, support and the regulation of the sector. 

The department said that the implementation of these functions by the department created a conflict of interest, which affects the decision-making process. 

The department will further brief the committee on the formation of the National Water Infrastructure Agency and Regional Water Utilities (NWIARWU).

NIARWU is set to make much better use of scarce financial resources by enabling each water board to be financially viable. 

“These are some of the efforts that the Department of Water and Sanitation is initiating to ensure that the water sector is run effectively and delivers on its mandate of ensuring access to water and sanitation services,” the department said. – SAnews.gov.za

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