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The Water and Sanitation Minister, Mr Senzo Mchunu, will lead a national consultation meeting with key water sector role players and stakeholders on the proposed raw water use charges for the 2024/25 financial year.
The consultative meeting will be held on Friday, 25 August 2023 at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg. This follows provincial consultation meetings which were held across all nine provinces wherein various water users made inputs and comments on the proposed raw water use charges, which are specific to their category of use.
Following the provincial consultations, different sector leaders will be given an opportunity to present their inputs and comments to a panel of Deputy Director-Generals and the Chief Financial Officer, as well as Minister Mchunu as the Executive Authority responsible for the approval of charges.
The national consultation meeting will also provide a platform for Minister Mchunu to engage stakeholders on various issues that relate to water use charges and service provision, and for sector leaders to provide feedback on the analysis conducted on the proposed charges and present the final proposed charges that will be recommended to the Minister for approval.
The approach is in line with Section 42 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) which states that extensive consultation should be undertaken before an organ of State increases any price of bulk resources supplied to municipalities and municipal entities.
The raw water use charges will then be approved by the Minister no later than 30 September 2023 to allow for Water Boards to commence with their bulk tariff determination process and consultation in October 2023.
Meanwhile, Minister Mchunu has expressed his commitment to ensure that the proposed raw water use charges consultations are fair and transparent, for equitable water use in the country.
“It is without a doubt of importance that these consultations take place, in order for us to get comments and inputs from all affected parties. We are a fair and transparent Government; hence this approach is taken to uphold our constitutional mandate,” said Minister Mchunu.
In terms of section 56 of the National Water Act (NWA), 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998), the Minister may, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, from time to time by notice in the Government Gazette, establish a Pricing Strategy for any water use within the framework of the existing relevant government policy. The Minister as mandated by the NWA, from section 56-60, requires the Department of Water and Sanitation to establish a Pricing Strategy for raw water use charges.
The budget planning and price setting cycle are prepared in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) (Act No.1 of 1999) and Raw Water Pricing Strategy established in terms of section 56(1) of the National Water Act. As such, the raw water use charges are approved and published on an annual basis by 30 September. This is done to enable Water Boards and other entities to prepare their tariff determination processes and consultations.
Issued by the Department of Water & Sanitation