Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has announced that he is setting up a Steering Committee to oversee and ensure a sustainable water and sanitation services management in North West province.
Mchunu said that under the Steering Committee, to be chaired by him and North West Premier, Bushy Maape, a Technical Task Team will be established and include professional engineers from Water and Sanitation, Magalies Water Board, and all districts and local municipalities.
The Technical Task Team will carry out the technical work of assessing, planning and implementation of water and sanitation needs of the whole province.
“The technical structure will be represented by technical individuals, such as engineers because this is a purely technical committee that will be responsible for assessing every municipality, looking at available resources, analysing existing water schemes, those projects that are complete and incomplete, and all causes of stress on water in the province, and come up with solutions.
“This task team should be able to provide us with a detailed plan of what needs to be done, costs and contributions by each municipality, at a local and district level, and the Board as well as the department in order to restore water in areas where there are challenges,” Mchunu said.
Mchunu added that he is confident that the formation of these structures will yield positive results in resolving water challenges affecting most communities in the various parts of the province.
Accompanied by Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi, Mchunu visited Maquassi Hills and the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipalities during a planned visit from 19-20 January 2023, to assess the state of water and sanitation at the two municipalities.
The Minister also received an update on the water supply interventions implemented through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) granted by the department.
He emphasised the need for collective planning and implementation of action plans by all role-players to ensure synergy and sustainable provision of water and sanitation services in the province.
Mchunu reiterated that one of the reasons that the work carried out by government is not able to meet people’s needs and demands is due to the “mentality of working in silos.”
While acknowledging that the issues of water in the North West do exist and are serious, Mchunu argued that they are not insurmountable.
“They are not such a big issue that they may make us put our hands on our heads and wonder how we are going to fix it, rather it needs is a collective approach. We therefore, are going to fix this ourselves as national, provincial and local government, as well as the role-players in this water sector,” Mchunu said.
The Technical Task Team is expected to report on the compressive plan to the Steering Committee during the first week of February 2023, where it will provide guidance on what needs to be done to ensure reliable water supply in the whole province.
During his Ministerial working session in the province in February last year, Mchunu visited Dinokana in Ramotshere Moiloa Municipality, which is one of his flagship projects.
The department is currently intervening in the municipality through the Rural Water Supply Project to ensure that communities have access to water.