Water Wednesday: The lowdown on the Water Transformation Bill

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu told lawmakers in Cape Town last week that the National Water Act will transform the sector because 95% of the licensed water volume is still in the hands of white commercial farmers, leaving 5% currently allocated to emerging black farmers.

Sisulu said: “As we talk about the transformation of land ownership, we should understand that land ownership with no access to water will take us nowhere. The country’s mines aren’t complying with their water-license conditions, while non-payment for services ‘is a perennial problem’, vandalism and theft is also on the rise.”

In addition, the estimated capital investment requirement is R90 billion ($6.5 billion) a year over the next 10 years, compared with an annual investment of R55 billion rands on water infrastructure and sanitation.

“To tackle the problems, the department will review its tendering processes, revive a construction unit that will work with the private sector and establish maintenance task teams especially in the water treatment and recycling stock,” she added.

“All investigations into alleged irregularities and corruption will be stepped up and the department will appoint a partner approved by National Treasury to deal with all outstanding reviews,” said Sisulu.

Sisulu gave her first budget speech as the new Minister for the Department of Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements. She revealed that there had been a R2.5 billion increase in the DWS’s irregular expenditure for the most-recent financial year, jumping up from R6.4 billion in 2017/18 financial year to R8.9 billion in the 2018/19.

Minister Sisulu vowed to clean up the department after it was left in financial ruin by former minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

Here is your weekly dam update:

  • The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 93.6%.
  • The Cape Town Dam System, consisting of six dams serving mainly the City of Cape Town, is at 49.9% this week.
  • The Eastern Cape Dam System is at 57.2% while KwaZulu-Natal sits at 61.9%.

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.

Source: Capricorn Review