Water master plan ready for implementation

Gaongalelwe Tiro

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has launched the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, which envisages a continued critical role for TCTA in the sector.

The Master Plan aims to address the critical water and sanitation delivery challenges that face the country. It  recognises the role that other stakeholders in the sector, including municipalities and water institutions, must play in the management of the supply and use of water and sanitation facilities.

Minister Sisulu said at the launch of the Plan in Pretoria on 28 November that a new modus operandi was needed.

“We now need to focus our our attention and resources to maintaining our current infrastructure, securely guarding water sources and most essentially educating our people on the necessity of looking after their rivers, harvesting rain and caring for the environment."

Funding capital projects remains one of the main problems afflicting the water and sanitation sector. The low  credit ratings of most stakeholders complicate the situation.

The Plan highlights that only TCTA, larger water boards and metropolitan municipalities can raise long-term debt finance and are able to manage the associated risks.

Minister Sisulu emphasised the central role of TCTA in the sector particularly in respect of raising funding for development projects. “Given the limited public funding that is available through government’s budget, it is important to ensure that financially viable projects are financed using private sector funding,” she said.

“The interventions to do this will build on the success to date of TCTA and water boards which, together, have mobilised over R50 billion in loan finance to undertake infrastructure development to supply urban and industrial use.”

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) led the process of developing the Plan but worked together with TCTA and the Water Research Commission (WRC).

The Plan earmarks several vital areas in which TCTA must play a leading role. These including increasing supply through the development of strategic waterresources infrastructure.

DWS targets to complete this leg of the Plan by 2025. It plans to implement several initiatives including the construction of Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and Western Cape Supply System Augmentation Project.

The stakeholders will roll out the construction of Cape Town emergency desalination plants, Acid Mine Drainage desalination plants in the Witwatersrand mining basins and Phase 1 of uMkhomazi Water Project and lower uMkhomazi Scheme. The implementation of Oliphants River Water Resources and the Mdloti River development
projects will start as well.

Other strategic water resources infrastructure will entail work on Thukela Goedertrouw Emergency Water Scheme, Mzimvubu Water, Mokolo and Crocodile Water Augmentation, Clanwilliam Dam raising, Groot Letaba River development projects.

Another area in which DWS plans a pivotal role for TCTA is on domestic and industrial wastewater. Together with other stakeholders, the department expects the Authority to develop appropriate wastewater technologies for cost effectiveness, energy efficiency and beneficiation.


• South  Africa  CAN  avoid  a projected  17%  water  deficit by 2030   by   taking   bold action today!

• Over  3  million  people  still do   not   have   access   to   a basic  water  supply service, and  14.1  million  people  do not   have   access   to   safe sanitation.

• Only   64%   of   households have  access  to  a  reliable water supply service

• 56%       of       wastewater treatment works and 44% of water treatment works are in a  weak  or  critical  condition. 11% are dysfunctional

• More   than   50%   of   South Africa’s      wetlands      have been lost, and of those that  remain,   33%   are   in   poor ecological condition

• Only 5% of agricultural water used   is   by   black   farmers 41%    of    municipal water does  not  generate  revenue. 35% is lost through leakage

• Municipalities    are    losing about  1660  million  m³  per year    through    non-revenue water. At  a  unit  cost  of  R6/ m³,   this   amounts   to   R9.9 billion each year

• R33  billion  more  is  needed each  year  for  the  next  10 years    to    achieve    water security


Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu launches sector master plan