Pretoria: Government is on a mission to end water wastage resulting from ageing infrastructure and human error, which leads to the country losing 37% of this precious natural resource per annum.
Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, in partnership with the City of Tshwane, today took the War on Leaks campaign to Mamelodi, Tshwane, with the express aim of putting a stop to water leaks in households, schools, clinics and other public buildings.
The project is currently being implemented in different municipalities across the country, a move that will go a long way to help government save money on fixing damaged water infrastructure, for which it currently pays R7 billion a year.
Apart from the good news of saving water by eliminating unnecessary wastage, a big spin off of the project is job creation.
The project will see about 200 youths being trained in basic plumbing, which in return will create job opportunities for them. The youth will fix leaking pipes in households, schools and public buildings: helping to save millions of rands spent by the city on water leaks.
Speaking during the launch on Friday at Ikageng Community Centre, Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said R5 million has been allocated for the project in the City of Tshwane. The amount includes R3 million from the department and R200 million donated by Rand Water.
She said that the youth who will receive skills training will attend a six-month course, offered by Rand Water at Rand Water Academy. They will also get training on health and safety, machine operation and moving vessels, amongst others.
“They will become water warriors and assist the city to eradicate water leaks. The training will arm them with a skills development opportunity, which will lead to job creation. In the next five years, they will become entrepreneurs and employ more youth,” said the Deputy Minister.
She said the department wants to add more programmes, which seeks to empower the youth in order to meet government’s target of creating six million job opportunities.
Gauteng MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, congratulated the department and its partners on the project, saying it would play a big role in reducing water loss in the country.
“Water is a scarce resource and we have no option but to save it. We believe that the project will contribute to scarce skills development. It also responds to the President’s call for everyone to be responsible and contribute to the war against poverty,” MEC Mayathula-Khoza said.
During the event, Fiberpipe company handed over 20 plumbing kits to assist the youth in their training.
Rand Water also pledged it support for the campaign, and it stressed the need to invest in infrastructure.
One of the beneficiaries, Adelaide Khapula, who is part of the Tsepo 10 000 Programme launched by the City of Tshwane last year, said that through the project, they will gain skills and a qualification, which will allow them to help their families financially.
“It will reduce the crime level, poverty and unemployment. Before the programme, there was no hope for us, but now our future looks brighter. As long as we work hard and commit to the task given to us, the programme will be a success,” said Khapula.
SOURCE: South African Official News