Water supply and sanitation performance are set to improve in Gauteng following the launch of the Water and Sanitation Forum.
Gauteng Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo officially launched the forum on Monday at Mapungubwe Conference Centre, in Johannesburg.
The forum includes the National, Provincial, Local Government and other relevant stakeholders such as Rand Water and Eskom.
The forum will be responsible for proactively tackling water and sanitation challenges in the province and implementing strategies tabled by all relevant stakeholders.
Speaking at the launch, MEC Mamabolo said they are confident that through the forum they will render proper services to the communities of the province especially the informal settlements.
“Recently the province experienced water shortages and challenges, and the Water and Sanitation Forum is one of the interventions by Gauteng Provincial Government to deal with such challenges. The province appreciates the intervention of the National Government in tackling these challenges,” said MEC Mamabolo.
He said the forum is an Inter-Governmental Relations (IGR) forum between all government spheres.
“This means all relevant stakeholders who are part, acknowledge that the water supply and sanitation challenge affects everyone in the country and is not a Gauteng Province’s issue only. Together as spheres of government we can ensure that these challenges remain a thing of the past.”
Gauteng Premier David Makhura expressed the province’s appreciation to Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, and her department for being part of the management of the water supply and sanitation challenges in the province.
He said significant progress has been made, but acknowledged that there are areas that still need attention.
“The province is at 92% of access to water and 85% of access to sanitation. We have done very well in the provision of these basic services. What is a challenge now is ways to sustain the progress made,” the Premier said.
New mega human settlements project
Meanwhile, Premier Makhura also announced that the province has a new mega human settlements project in the pipeline, adding that the new project should be of high quality standards and located within transport nodes and economic opportunities.
“We thus need proper infrastructure such as water supply and sanitation to sustain these new developments as well. The Forum will help in terms of putting measures in place to ensure that proper infrastructure is being budgeted for and in place.”
He reiterated the need to treat water as a scarce resource and find ways to ensure that water is preserved as a major source of life.
“The good thing is that in Gauteng we are organized in dealing with water supply and sanitation challenges as evidenced by this Forum, which will ensure that we turn what is currently a threat into an opportunity,” Premier Makhura said.
Source : SAnews.gov.za