The Department of Water and Sanitation is consolidating the Mhlathuze and Umgeni water boards in KwaZulu-Natal into a single regional water board in an effort to enhance the service delivery and the supply of water in the region.
According to the department the move, which is in line with the Institutional Reforms and Realignment (IRR) project, follows recommendations of the Presidential Review Committee on State Owned Entities and Companies.
The process is also consistent with the National Development Plan (NDP), which has provided a vision to create Regional Water Utilities, including expanding the mandate of Water Boards.
“Currently there are two water boards in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, and in order to enhance the supply of water in the province, it was found prudent to realign these and establish a single effective Regional Water Board to improve service delivery and to expand in the un-serviced areas, especially in the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal. This would enable both water boards to consolidate their assets and skills for key rural infrastructure development projects,” the department said.
Enabling effective service delivery
The department added that this initiative will ensure positive socio-economic impacts for the entire KwaZulu-Natal Province.
“The primary driver for creating fewer, stronger water boards with larger geographic footprints is that they can play a much more effective role in the financing, management and delivery of regional water infrastructure and support municipalities in providing water services. This will result in more effective delivery of services and cross subsidisation especially in rural areas,” the department said.
The Minister will announce the de-establishment of Mhlathuze Water and transferring of staff, assets and liabilities into Umgeni Water.
There will also be a change of name of Umgeni Water into KwaZulu-Natal Water Board in a Government Gazette, as published on 10 November 2017.