SA moves to secure more water

Pretoria: Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane will visit Zimbabwe on Friday to try to secure more water for the country.

“Minister Mokonyane will meet her Zimbabwean counterpart, the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Saviour Kasukuwere, to move towards the feasibility studies leading to the pumping of water to South Africa,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said.

She will attend the signing ceremony of the Certified Agreement on the Cooperation on Water Resources Management and the establishment and functioning of the Joint Water Commission between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The signing ceremony between these two countries comes after a joint agreement by the governments of South Africa and Zimbabwe to undertake a technical study to evaluate the possible water resource developments and transfer options of water from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

The two countries signed an agreement last month after deliberating and agreeing on constructing a pipeline that would draw water from Zambezi River to Cowdray Park in Bulawayo, then right through to South Africa.

“The agreement will adopt a three-phased approach. The first is to determine the viability of water resource development options at reconnaissance level taking into account the latest information on hydrology and environmental needs including identifying options for such water supplies,” the Department of Water and Sanitation said.

Phase 2 is the pre-feasibility study of the preferred options identified in Phase 1, while Phase 3 will be centred on the feasibility study of the preferred options from Phase 2.

The two countries recently entered into an agreement of Co-operation on Water Resources Management and established the Joint Water Commission (JWC), which is referred to as the Zimbabwe – South Africa JWC (ZRSA JWC).

The function of the established Joint Study Management Committee (JSMC) is to coordinate the implementation of the project.

“The objective of the JSMC is to act on behalf of the parties in all matters relating to the oversight and management of the study, submit a report with recommendations to the parties upon finalisation of each phase of the study, and develop the Terms of Reference for each phase of the study.

“The countries have also agreed that the decisions of the JSMC will be taken by consensus,” the department said.