Water boards to be reviewed to enhance service delivery

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, says the country’s water boards are to be reviewed in a bid to enhance effective water and sanitation delivery.

Mchunu made the announcement on Wednesday, the last day of the Northern Cape leg of his provincial working sessions.

During a three-day Ministerial working session, Mchunu and Deputy Ministers David Mahlobo and Dikeledi Magadzi, met with the department’s provincial officials and provincial government, water services authority and water users’ associations.

The Minister said the decision to look at the functionality of the water boards is to ensure a continued and close partnership with municipalities as water service authorities.

He said the Sedibeng Water Board, which the department has recently bailed out on two occasions, will be the first to be reviewed.

“To this effect and to heed the call, we will urgently review the boards. It is all about our calculations and looking for an effective turnaround with regards to our main challenge - that of delivering water to households,” Mchunu said.

The Minister said the idea is to have water boards playing a central role with regards to municipalities delivering services.

He said the municipalities complained that they do not have capacity to deliver water and sanitation services although they would like to.

“We are also reviewing our own legislation in terms of empowering us and making interventions – down to the ground – to make sure water gets delivered,” Mchunu said.

Mchunu noted the balance of equity between water and sanitation has not been reached.

“All along we have not been focusing equally on sanitation as we have been doing in water and now, sanitation needs to be upgraded in terms of our attention. The main thing is to bring water to households and then in the process you are able to deal with matters of sanitation,” the Minister highlighted.

Mchunu announced that the Ministry is currently working on a sanitation framework for the country.

“We don’t commonly have adopted norms and standards that everybody must adhere to and that will be the content of the sanitation framework,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

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