Water and sanitation issues across struggling municipalities in the Free State will soon be a thing of the past – as they will now receive national government attention.Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, announced his department’s plans for taking over these two portfolios in Free State municipalities. Mchunu announced during a presidential Imbizo in Mangaung that the department will take over in the Welkom-based Matjhabeng, Qwaqwa-based Maluti-A-Phofung, and Trompsburg-based Kopanong Local municipalities. In his address, he promised that the department will work on the construction of new pipelines worth at least R500 million, aimed at supplying residents with water.
This move by the Department follows after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) conducted a five-day oversight visit to the province.Mchunu also vowed to address sewerage spillages across towns such as Botshabelo among others. He says this is a huge problem for residents. “That thing is going to go as soon as we complete two projects, and then, later on, deal with the sanitation issues. We are going to intervene in Kopanong and Matjhabeng, where things have just collapsed,” he adds.