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In an effort to rally all stakeholders in South Africa to work together to address the challenges confronting the water sector the Department of Water and Sanitation is set to launch a series of mini-Operation Phakisa’s.

Speaking at a meeting with Water Services Authorities on Friday Trevor Balzer deputy director general of strategic and emergency projects for the Department of Water and Sanitation noted that the Phakisa’s would focus on the priority points of the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan.

Balzer added that while the department is planning to lead a major national level Phakisa by March this year it will first need to host smaller provincial scale planning phases before taking running with the Phakisa on a national level.

Water and sanitation master plan

The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan sets out critical actions and investments the country must implement between now and 2030 to overcome challenges and ensure water secure future supporting inclusive development across the country.

The plan is based on five key objectives that define a ‘new normal’ for water and sanitation management in the country including:  

  • Resilient and fit-for-use water supply
  • Universal water and sanitation provision
  • Equitable sharing and allocation of resources
  • Effective infrastructure management, operation and maintenance and wastewater treatment, and
  • Reduction in future water demand.

Water regulator

Meanwhile the department has responded to calls from civil society organisations for the establishment of a national water regulator.

“This is part of an ongoing work that the department and the entire water sector are seized with, and working with all stakeholders in the sector, this vision will be realised.”

“To achieve safe sanitation for all and protect the quality of our water resources, all institutions responsible for sanitation services provision must ensure rapid eradication of the backlog, informed choice of appropriate technologies, and effective operation and maintenance of infrastructure.”

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