Water minister’s 55 217 bucket toilet headache

2016-05-11 17:01

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has declared war on lack of transformation in the sector, bucket systems, and single-purpose dams.

There were still 55 217 bucket toilets in the country, mainly in the Free State, Northern and Eastern Cape, and North West, she said, presenting her budget vote in Parliament today.

She took the members of Parliament through eradication methods in the Northern Cape and Free State. She said the department would intervene in some municipalities struggling to fund the provision and or maintenance of bulk infrastructure directly supporting the bucket eradication programme.

Mokonyane bemoaned the lack of transformation in the sector.

During the 2014-2015 financial year, the total expenditure on procurement amounted to R13.3 billion, but only R592.9 million was spent on small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, she said.

In the 2015-2016 financial year, the department spent R13.5 billion on procurement, of which R2.2 billion was spent on small, medium and micro-sized enterprises.

“This must change,” she said. The department would ensure women, youth, and persons with disabilities were given consideration in the procurement process. She said they wanted them to design, construct, and operate water infrastructure.

The government was implementing a more permanent solution to acid mine drainage in the Witwatersrand area. The long-term approach was to fully treat this water, which seeps into the environment after being polluted by mining activity. The treated water would substantially increase supply to the Vaal River system and meet the needs of South Africa’s economic hub.

Mokonyane would make an announcement on the matter next week.

The department was trying to eradicate single-purpose dams, which were used by a few and, at worst, for recreational purposes.

“No more will we develop dams where our people remain without water, whilst they see and live by water sources developed to serve industry or a few.”

She said the department had spent more than R500 million on emergency and short-term interventions like stopping leaks, drilling boreholes, and water transfers in all provinces, except Gauteng.

Medium- and long-term interventions included domestic water harvesting and incorporating all municipal and privately owned dams into the management system. – News24 

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March 17 2019