Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane says her department will provide a sustainable and holistic water value chain as guided by the National Development Plan, the ANC manifesto, and the second National Water Resource Strategy.

Addressing parliament on the budget vote, Mokonyane said her budget vote per programme will be as follows:

  • R1. 026 billion is allocated to administration
  • R597.8 million is allocated to water sector management
  • R2. 919 billion is allocated to water resources infrastructure
  • R121.5 million is allocated to water sector regulation
  • R7. 782 billion is allocated to the regional implementation programme
  • R32. 5 million is allocated to international water cooperation.

She added that her department will transfer R2.6 billion in 2014/15, R3.7 billion in 2015/16 and R4 billion in 2016/17 to the Water Trading Entity through the Water Infrastructure Management programmes.

“As we strive to consolidate our successes and celebrate the good story in the water sector we shall, with immediate effect use this budget to deal with 10% of existing services that are dysfunctional and a further 26% where the provision of water is not reliable,” she told Parliament.

Mokonyan said that reports from some areas suggest that “if we have been walking, we need to run to be able to intervene with speed to provide clean drinking water and decent sanitation to affected communities.”

“In order to ensure the delivery of water and sanitation services to all South Africans, we are charged with the responsibility of integrating our work, through infrastructure development for the eradication of backlogs and sustained delivery of quality services to the people of South Africa,” she told Parliament.

 

A comprehensive framework

To facilitate effective and timely investment, a comprehensive investment framework for the water and sanitation sector is being developed in terms of SIP 18. This framework will inform budgeting and integrated planning based on a life-cycle approach, which includes planning and construction costs, operation and maintenance, financing costs and the costs of sustainable water management.

Capital investment in new water and sanitation infrastructure for the entire value chain including the refurbishment of existing infrastructure over the next ten years is projected to require an estimated R670 billion.

On the basis of current projected budget allocations, about 45% of this is currently funded. These investments will have to be funded from on budget and off budget sources through partnership with the private sector.

“Going forward, we will accentuate our seamless model in infrastructure development to manage the water resource ‘from source to tap and back to source’. Our infrastructure build programme will address the challenge of lack of access as well as the unequal distribution of water resources in some parts of South Africa,” Mokonyane said.

 

No “one size fits all approach”

According to Mokonyane, the newly established Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) will move away from a one size fits all approach where every district or local municipality has the powers and functions of a water services authority, but  questionable viability and capacity.

Together with South African Local Government Association, the DWS will further engage on issues related to water tariffs, water loss and water preservation. It is focusing on a number of single purpose dams to supply those communities which have previously been denied access to these dams.

Further, the department is developing a strategic sourcing and localisation to focus on local content in collaboration with the departments of Trade and Industry, Economic Development, and the National Treasury.

 

Ownership

“Ownership of access to water continues to perpetuate inequality in our country. Working together with all South Africans we will, in this financial year, open up this protected space so as to ensure that water as a natural resource is available and shared by all. This includes those who live in villages, townships and beneficiaries of land reform nearer to the mines, and new industries will benefit.”

Mokonyane believes that participation of South Africans in the water sector is key. She stated that her department will extend its stakeholder relations by ensuring that water and sanitation forums are established in every metro and district representing communities, business, academia, women, youth and people with disabilities. In the first week of August 2014 the DWS will convene a two day summit where all stakeholders will come together and define their working relationship.