Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has reiterated the Department of Water and Sanitation’s commitment to service delivery provision to all South Africans.
She said this before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation when she and her deputy, Pamela Tshwete led a delegation from the department to give an overview on the Construction Management Unit within the department.
The Construction Management Unit was established with an aim to construct, rehabilitate, refurbish and maintain new and existing National Water Resources Infrastructure.
The intention is to meet industrial, agricultural and social (domestic) bulk water supply requirements and to facilitate economic growth and development, including the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing water supply infrastructure to comply with international dam safety standards.
This Unit has in the past, undertaken various infrastructure projects to ensure that communities have access to clean water supply as enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa. The unit is however plagued with slow transformation that can reflect both the demographics and the ideals of broad based black economic empowerment in its operations as expected by the department.
Minister Mokonyane says the department’s drive is to ensure that there is a difference between what use to be and what is expected today, adding that transformation within the department should be taken serious by everyone.
“The intention to ensure transformation in the department should be in line with our guiding document, the National Development Plan which envisions a water sector that is reflects all the demographics of the country,” she said.
Furthermore, Minister Mokonyane emphasised that transformation should not just mean colour and gender specifics but it should also show on how procurement is done.
“Everything that we do should be in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act to ensure that we do things by the book. A lot must also be done to ensure that the previously disadvantaged communities and companies also benefit in the water sector but we must guarantee compliance” Minister Mokonyane added.
To this end, a Joint Transformation Committee was established by the department in 2015 to ensure that transformation is an inclusive project within the department, with specific focus on creating new opportunities for the previously disadvantaged as well as the youth, women and people with disabilities.
Issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation