The Department of Water and Sanitation is working on completing a comprehensive water plan for South Africa with the aim of managing the country’s scarce resource.

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said the plan, which her department aims to finalise during the current financial year, will use innovative means and alternative technologies to manage water and sanitation in a country that she said needs to keep up with science and technology.

“In 2030, our country must enjoy water and security and water supply that is reliable and sustainable. To this end, the management of our water resources wisely is paramount,” she said on Thursday during her Budget Vote speech in Cape Town.

Transforming sanitation

The Minister said in a bid to restore the dignity of South Africans, the department planned to transform the different approaches to sanitation.

The current methods of disposing human waste through flushing toilets that utilise drinking quality water is unsustainable.

“In this regard, we are currently looking at numerous technologies that will assist us to eliminate the use of clean drinkable water to dispose of human waste.

“We are determined to introduce low-water and no-water solutions as part of our efforts to deliver sanitation.”

This, the Minister said, would include the using of chemicals, grey water and other alternatives instead of using clean water to flush.

She said the department was determined to educate people that it is not all about flushing.

The department is currently piloting the interim sanitation solution toilets in KwaZulu-Natal, among other areas.

On Friday, Minister Mokonyane is due to take the pilot to Khayelitsha in the Western Cape as part and parcel of commemorating the annual Sanitation and Hygiene Month.

“A decent sanitation solution does not mean a flushing, water borne solution. This is a sanitation revolution we will lead and champion as a department,” she said.