Water master plan ready for implementation
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.
WATER SECTOR SNAPSHOT
• 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