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On Wednesday, 13 September 2023, Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr. David Mahlobo implored government to enhance its capacity to respond to disasters and provide institutional frameworks and mechanisms for the water sector to achieve its primary goal.
Deputy Minister Mahlobo was speaking at the joint technical team meeting which presented to the National Council of Provinces held at City of Tshwane’s Municipality Offices. The meeting was attended by various stakeholders, including officials from the Department of Water and Sanitation and members of Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
Deputy Minister Mahlobo said the national government must act and improve its disaster response capabilities. In addition, he has highlighted the necessity to establish institutional frameworks and mechanisms for the water sector to succeed.
Deputy Minister Mahlobo has acknowledged the unfortunate loss of lives in Hammanskraal due to cholera outbreak, which led to an independent investigation by the Water Research Commission.
However, with the inconclusive results of the investigation to determine whether the deaths were caused by water-related issues, some of the investigation results did find strains of the bacterium related to cholera in the Rooiwal system, sanitary system, streams, and the groundwater used by the farmers in the area.
Deputy Minister Mahlobo has confirmed that the people of Hammanskraal still receive water through the water pipelines of Rand Water and Magalies, and that the water is being monitored consistently.
In addition, Deputy Minister Mahlobo stated that private tankers are a major concern and should be handled by the government, not individual contractors.
City of Tshwane Tshwane's Executive Mayor, Cllr Cilliers Brink, concurred with Mahlobo that the present dependence on water tankers in the region is unacceptable and it has been exploited.
Cllr Brink said the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant, has been overburdened for almost two decades and is the primary cause of the insufficient water supply in the area.
Deputy Minister Mahlobo emphasized in his concluding statement that South Africa will not run out of water, but the available water may not be suitable for use due to continuous degradation in its quality due to high levels of pollution of water resources. He also mentioned untreated sewage that flows through residential areas, which require immediate attention.
Issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation