Friday, 26 November 2021

Stellenbosch: Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has emphasised the need for radical action in an effort to secure adequate water supply.

The Minister made an impassioned plea during a meeting with the Western Cape provincial government, municipalities and other stakeholders on the second day of a working session at the Protea Hotel in Stellenbosch.

To achieve this, Mchunu called on all parties to put political associations aside and pay particular attention towards enhancing the lives of people in as far as sufficient water provision and dignified sanitation is concerned.

Minister Mchunu, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, and Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi are assessing the status of water and sanitation security in the province from 24-27 November 2021 through engagements with water services authorities (WSAs).

He said: “The need to better the lives of our communities is paramount. It doesn’t matter which political parties we are affiliated to, and ideally enhancing the lives of citizens of this country should override our political interests.”

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde highlighted the importance of constructing more storage dams in the Western Cape since the province is prone to drought particularly in the Little Karoo region.

“At the moment most of our dams are full but we shouldn’t be oblivious and think that we are exempted from the dreaded Day Zero because we are of the view that we do not have enough dams,” said Winde.

The Premier added that water and sanitation challenges in the Western Cape were exacerbated by issues such as land invasions and illegal informal settlements. He indicated that this was a “big issue that needs to be tackled smartly because we are unable to anticipate these growing trends and as a result, we fail to plan for them”.

Minister Mchunu stressed the need for water infrastructure more than ever before. He indicated that government normally plans for five or ten years, but that it is time to start planning for longer terms to ensure that the livelihoods of future generations is taken care of.

On Saturday, Minister Mchunu and his delegation will visit one of the most important projects undertaken by the Department of Water and Sanitation – the Clanwilliam Dam Scheme upgrade project in the Western Cape.

The visit will be to assess the progress made so far on the project, and if any, challenges that are hindering its completion.