Author: Liesl Frankson

Intervention needed to align project management and budget – Nkwinti

Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti says an urgent intervention is need to align project management and planning with the department’s available budget. Speaking at the department’s Budget Vote speech, Nkwinti said realignment was needed to prevent the department’s projects from being ahead of the available budget. Nkwinti speech came amid concerns that the department was faced with historical contractual commitments that were not budgeted for. Vulnerabilities He noted that the preliminary commitments for which contracts have been signed and service providers are currently rendering services amounting to R7.5 billion, of which R6.3 billion is for infrastructure projects and R1.1 billion has been set aside for operational goods and services. “Of this figure, R2 billion is expected to be paid to the service providers in the current financial year. “We have also noted with concern that in certain instances, contracts without a value have been entered into, and these pose difficulty in accurately budgeting for them, which leaves... Read More

Government to spend R88 500 on a single bucket toilet – Outa

Civil society action group Outa says government plans to spend approximately R88 500 to replace a single bucket toilet this year.  How is this cost possible? Yamkela Ntola, OUTA’s Portfolio Manager for Water and Environment says overspending by the Department of Water and Sanitation on the Bucket Eradication Programme captures the essence of the Department’s financial mismanagement, which will be placed under a microscope in the forthcoming parliamentary inquiry. “The Bucket Eradication Programme (BEP) has been run under the Department of Water and Sanitation since 2014. Since then, the Department has failed to meet the national target for completely eradicating the buckets, thus perpetuating this indignity,” Ntola explains. “In 2016, Nomvula Mokonyane, the then Minister of Water and Sanitation, correctly stated that the bucket toilet system is “the most degrading legacy of apartheid”. But under her leadership, there has been no commitment to the eradication of bucket toilets, only a waste of public funds,”Ntola continues. The group has accused... Read More

Ekurhuleni re-blocks informal settlements

The City of Ekurhuleni is set to undertake a re-blocking project to reconfiguring the current layout of its informal settlements. Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Human Settlements Lesiba Mpya said the main purpose of the re-blocking process is to ensure that all informal settlements’ communities have access to basic services. Re-blocking, he said, is meant to create an enabling environment for informal settlements and the municipality to plan and implement community development projects together. “We are aware that many of the residents in these areas are opposing this process simply because they do not see its significance until tragedy strikes. Therefore, with re-blocking we aim to reduce the risk of fires developing and spreading quickly over large areas, and also to mitigate the negative impact of potential disasters and health hazards,” Mpya explained. Access to basic services As per the National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP) some of the work carried out during re-blocking includes the electrification of... Read More

Mashaba appoints new MMC for housing

City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Herman Mashaba has appointed a new MMC for Housing in an effort to turnaround the portfolio. The Mayor in a statement announced that Councillor Meshack van Wyk of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) would replace the former MMC for housing Councillor Mzobanzi Ntuli of the IFP. A change of leadership needed Mashaba said that despite Ntuli’s best efforts he was unable to improve the department’s performance and that a change in leadership was needed to address this. “Former MMC Ntuli has served in the position since September 2016. He inherited a Housing Department that was performing poorly and with a legacy of corruption,” the mayor said. “Despite former MMC Ntuli’s best efforts, the Department’s performance has not improved. While this is primarily a function of the administration of this Department, it is going to require different leadership to affect the turnaround of this critical function in the City.” Key focus areas Mashaba has... Read More

A fine example of integrated inner city housing

Tshwane Human Settlements Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo says the City’s recently launched Thembelihle Social Housing Village is an example of how to integrate mixed housing in the inner city as a way of undoing the apartheid legacy of racialised spatial planning. Speaking at the launch the Minister said the Thembelihle Social Housing Village provides a wonderful opportunity for beneficiaries who now get to stay close to areas of work, reducing the often high transportation costs that come with being located in the periphery of our cities. Socially inclusive space The R300 million project is socially inclusive as it has retail space, social amenities and affordable rental accommodation to over 2 000 people who occupy the 733 mixed type units consisting of bachelor, one, two and three bedrooms. According to Mfeketo the development targets people in the low to medium income bracket who earn between R3 500 and R15 000 a month. The project consists of eleven 3 to 4 storey... Read More

Kimberley’s Sol Plaatjie municipality battles sewage problems

The office of the Public Protector in the Northern Cape has stepped in to assist communities facing numerous sewage problems in the Kimberley area. The Sol Plaatje municipality has been battling to resolve it for years. The Public Protector says once it completes investigations and makes recommendations, the municipality will be bound by law to sort out the problem. Source: SABC Digital... Read More

The water storage leader

Water security is a top priority, directly impacting on South Africa’s ability to maintain and grow its economy and meet infrastructure targets. WASA talks to James Preston, marketing manager, SBS® Tanks, about recent projects and the company’s constant quest for quality. When it comes to water storage, what are some of the key issues? JP  The present state of South African infrastructure is not keeping pace with urban and industrial expansion, and the recent drought conditions experienced nationally, Cape Town being a case in point, have forced a change in how water supply needs to be managed in the future. That includes a major change in consumer behaviour. However, aside from the drought, there are many interventions required in the municipal space to replace, supplement or install new tank systems alongside conventional concrete reservoirs. Here, we’ve completed a number of projects for local municipalities, some of them in remote rural areas, and have made a lasting and positive impact... Read More

Giyani Water Project a high priority for government – Nkwinti

Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti says the Giyani Water Project is high on the priority list of parliament.   Speaking at a fact-finding visit to Giyani recently the minister said the project would be reprioritised in terms of the community’s requirements as the government needed to turn the project around including conducting work on the 38 villages that are still unserviced. The minister said the point of the visit was to hear from the community so that he could have a clear way forward articulated on the project. During the visit community members raised numerous issues in relation to the project and water supply in the region. Some issues raided included that the installation of pipes has yet to result in water availability as anticipated. They also noted that over a six year period the water supply was still intermittent and that the Mopani District Municipality and Greater Giyani Local Municipality till need to share capacity according... Read More

Partnership brings first solar powered desalination plant to SA

South Africa’s first solar powered desalination plant is set to be commissioned in the Western Cape later this year. The project, which was initiated by Prof. Erwin Schwella, Professor of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch and Tilburg Universities with the Municipality of Hessequa, is being co-funded by the Western Cape Government through the drought relief fund, and by the French Treasury, through a fund dedicated to the implementation of innovative green technologies. The plant is expected to come online by the end of October 2018 at Witsand in the Western Cape’s Hessequa Municipality.  Witsand was selected as the site for this innovative project as it often suffers from critical water shortages, even outside of drought periods. Addressing peak pressure According to the municipality it will produce 100kl of fresh water per day to address the normal local water requirement and will only be powered by solar energy. The plant will also be able to supply drinking water outside of sunlight... Read More

New COO for Transnet National Ports Authority

Transnet National Ports Authority has appointed Nozipho Mdawe as new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Mdawe, whose appointment will be effective as of 21 May 2018, is taking over the role from Phyllis Difeto and according to the Ports authority the move forms part of its plan to focus on using its strengths to grow and diversify its business and to establish itself as a world class ports authority. According to the TNPA the role of COO has been expanded and will include: Marine Services, Aviation Services and Pilotage, Continuous Improvement, Port Planning, Lighthouses, SHE & Risk, Security, Emergency Management, Infrastructure, Dredging Services, Ship Repair, Port Control and Port Maintenance. Mdawe Transnet career spans 14 years and she has most recently served as Secretary General of the Port Management Association for Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) in Kenya between July 2015 and April 2018. Another appointment Meanwhile Moshe Motlohi, who also held the position of COO in acting capacity, has... Read More

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