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ENVIRONMENT: R4.3 Billion Interim Water Supply Programme Announced

 





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The Department of Environmental Affairs has announced an interim water supply programme (IWSP) aimed at addressing the backlogs in municipal water-related service delivery.

According to Julius Kleynhans, Head of Environmental Affairs at AfriForum, the programme will address various issues with the allocated budget if managed appropriately. “Minister Edna Molewa said in Parliament on Tuesday that a budget of R4.34-billion had been allocated to focus on 23 district municipalities identified by Cabinet. The assistance will include the development and upgrade of local water sources in areas with unpredictable or no water supply, water-loss management issues and various water infrastructure repair backlogs.”

“It is disconcerting to note that there are at least 23 District Municipalities where water and infrastructure management is problematic. Municipalities are not managed appropriately and this must be addressed.”

Capital investment in new water and sanitation infrastructure for the entire value chain, including the refurbishment of existing infrastructure, was projected to require some R670 billion over the next ten years, or R67 billion a year. Currently, only 45%, or R30 billion a year, was available from existing funding sources.

“AfriForum is of the opinion that the privatisation of water and sanitation management will be the answer to ensure sustainability and proper service delivery of this important resource. Molewa said that the remainder of the required investments will have to be funded from on-budget and off-budget sources through the private sector.”

Government would also aim to finalise its water policy review process by July, which would further inform the process to amend the National Water Act and Water Services Act.


 
 
 
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