SA takes part in virtual world water conference amid COVID-19

 

TCTA, to support the Department of Water and Sanitation, participates in the World Water Week every year. Typically hosted in Stockholm by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the conference aims to transform global water challenges and is often regarded as the biggest annual event in the water and sanitation sector. This year, as a result of COVID-19, the five-day-long conference changed venues—from Sweden to our homes.

 

Besides sharing knowledge through the presentation of papers, TCTA also uses the conference as a platform to showcase its work through branding and participation in various networking sessions.

 

During the launch of the conference on 24 August 2020, the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, said that South Africa is still experiencing the imbalance of the equal distribution of resources such as water.

 

"Our country has suffered an imbalance during the dark days, of which many of you know of. The results are so embedded in infrastructure because those who historically had power benefited first, so it will take a bit of time to ensure the benefits reach every corner of the population," Minister Sisulu said.

 

While speaking during a ministerial panel discussion with her counterparts from Colombia, the Netherlands and Sweden, Minister Sisulu said the COVID-19 pandemic had put a strain on the country's already ailing water infrastructure.

 

She added that, since 1994, access to water supply increased from only 55.1% of households having access to 88% in 2019.

 

As part of the long-term interventions, Minister Sisulu said the Department would implement the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, which spelt out the country’s plan to secure water for all by 2030 and beyond. The Department was working with its entities to come up with innovative ways to improve the provision of water and sanitation services across the country.

 

“The South African government is doing its utmost best to ensure that all its population has water. This is an opportune time for all of us to start valuing water, not only in a crisis but even beyond,” Minister Sisulu concluded.