Pretoria: Government has reiterated its commitment to deal with water related issues, with interventions already in place to address this.
In a statement on Tuesday, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acting CEO Phumla Williams said government has noted media coverage of the issue.
The deployment of technical teams, including engineers, technicians and other artisans to assess the systems in the problem areas, are some of the interventions undertaken to urgently restore water supplies.
“To date, government has announced a capital injection in excess of R500 million to deal with issues of infrastructure refurbishment, operation and maintenance to ensure that such interruptions in the water supply do not recur,” said Williams.
In areas like Madibeng in Brits, the national Water Department has installed new pumps in the treatment plan and has fully restored the functionality of the system.
In partnership with Eskom, a leak detection exercise is being conducted to check if there are leaks, which can be fixed to maximize the yield of water in the system. There were various causes of the water issue, some of which can be remedied over the long term.
“The facts must be separated from alleged statements, so that we have a well-informed citizenry. Yes, there are challenges, some of which are historical and others pure negligence. However, government has put in place the Municipal Systems Amendment Act ,which aims to fix non-functioning municipalities and eradicate corrupt and errant managers in local government,” Williams said.
The Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant that has been running for over 10 years in building infrastructure for bulk water distribution also adds to interventions by government. Another is the Municipal Water Infrastructure Grant, whose main aim is to serve outlying areas that either experience erratic supplies.
“These programs have to be seen in an integrated way as a system that works together to provide the water infrastructure and services for all South Africans. There are areas that are still not served that experience water shortages.
“Others experience these interruptions because of inadequate old infrastructure problems. It is these areas that need our attention the most and with our long term plans implemented, the country should be able to deal a final blow this problem,” said Williams.
The National Water Resource Strategy, which aims to ensure that national water resources, is another intervention of government.
“Government calls on all communities to use water sparingly, as South Africa is a water scarce country. Communities play an integral part in curbing water pollution and starting the fight against human negligence,” said Williams.