Pretoria: Investment in South Africa’s water resources needs to double in the next 10 years if the country is to meet the growing demand, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Monday.
“It’s going to require a lot of money but the demands require us to put more funding into water infrastructure but at the same time, we need to emphasise the importance of saving what we have,” Molewa told reporters in Pretoria.
According to the draft National Water Resource Strategy the department released on Monday, South Africa will require up to R670 billion to beef up its entire water sector over the next 10 years, with a funding gap of R338 billion having been identified.
Molewa said the strategy addresses concerns that the socio-economic growth of South Africa could be restricted if water security, quality and management were not resolved.
The document identifies inadequate financing and poor investment in maintenance and refurbishment of water infrastructure as challenges that need to be tackled in the short term.
Molewa could not say if the required investment in water would mean tariff increases for the consumer.
“We have said it before, that it is highly likely that if we do our billing properly and the right people pay for water, there would not be a need for constant tariff increase but tariffs do increase