Interventions to resolve water related issues in Eastern Cape | Infrastructure news

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu together with his deputies; David Mahlobo and Dikeledi Magadzi are devising a firm course of action to bring about sustainable solutions to water-related tribulations in the Eastern Cape.

The team was in are in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape at Coega Industrial Development Zone Conference Centre on a two-day Ministerial working session from 10-11 March 2022.

The sessions were kickstarted by a meeting between the Minister, Eastern Cape Water and Sanitation Provincial leadership, Amatola Water Board, and South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) in Eastern Cape to amongst others discuss grave concerns hindering optimum functionality of the board, such as the ongoing turbulent situation which has led to protest actions by staff, its mandate, footprint, and its state as an entity.

Subsequent to that, Mchunu was joined by the Business Sector in the area to ensure that they comprehend the gravity of the difficulties faced by the province on issues of water securities and to strengthen partnerships.

During this two-day session, the Minister also met with Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, and Sarah Baartman District Municipality with a view to devise tangible plans to address water challenges in their areas of activity.

Furthermore, the Water and Sanitation Minister intends to inspect progress made at the Nooitgedagt Low-Level Scheme project which after its completion is expected to supply water from the Orange River to Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and surrounding areas.

This is a means to augment the water supply and further ensure water security.

When outlining the rationale behind the engagements Minister emphasised that this working session is aimed at assessing issues related to water resource management. In addition, he pointed out that the Department’s main mandate is simply to ensure that communities receive adequate water supply.

He further stressed that our challenges are all about access to water services to the public, people want water and sanitation services.

“Water is a very sensitive and emotional matter, our thrust is to articulate extensively about water challenges, nourish and strengthen partnerships. Let us do everything in our power to ensure that communities get water in 2022. One of the reasons we are failing to provide adequate water is being unable to execute our duties accordingly and with integrity, issues of corruption and mismanagement are very alarming”, Mchunu said.

Both Deputy Ministers Mahlobo and Magadzi shared the same sentiments and expressed discontent about the performance of Amatola Water Board and called for everyone to pull together in the same direction despite challenges; this in order to achieve the utmost goal of providing uninterrupted water to people at all times.

The shortage of water supply particularly in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality received considerable attention during the engagement and Deputy Minister Mahlobo stated that this is affecting the development of the Municipality in a negative way.

This is the second Ministerial working session spearheaded by the Minister following reports of poor water quality in the province which has added fuel to the fire since the province is already gripped by a drought predicament.

This and other challenges have prompted Minister Mchunu to call for these sessions.

Additional Reading?

Request Free Copy