About 88% of South Africans have access to clean drinkable water and almost 78% of the country’s population have access to decent sanitation, this is according to the Minister of Water and Sanitation,Nomvula Mokonyane.

“Plans are underway to explore and exhaust alternative solutions to reduce pressure on water resources and ensure that the remaining percentage is also served” the minister says.

Mokonyane adds that the department is currently paying significant attention to the issues of acid mine drainage, especially in the Gauteng Province and the use of cost-effective technology in the process of desalination to increase water supply.

“The use of ground and surface water through the digging of boreholes as well as rainwater harvesting as a major source of water is one of the interventions that the department is looking to harness”

She says that the department is fully aware of the fact that the inability to deal with issues of operations and maintenance also compromises the water quality hence the current focus on water licensing processes and regulation of the sector by the department.

The Department of Water and Sanitation plans to achieve a 15% reduction in water losses over the current financial year and intends to conclude the eradication of the bucket system programme in formal areas by December 2015.