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africa|building|financial|infrastructure|project|projects|sanitation|service|services|water|drilling|infrastructure

Govt called to enhance service

19th January 2024

     

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Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister David Mahlobo has called for reinvigoration from all government sectors to fast-track service delivery provision to communities to realise “a better quality of life for all”.

Mahlobo was speaking during the District Development Model (DMM) Social Compact Imbizo held in the Phuthadithjaba multi-purpose centre in Thabo Mofutsanyane district on November 10, 2023.

He stated that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) will be assisting municipalities in building new infrastructure, and refurbishing and upgrading existing infrastructure to meet growing demand, while reducing water loss as a result of aging infrastructure.

He pointed to the latest South African National census statistics, which indicate that the country’s population is increasing and, therefore, government’s efforts will need to “double” to meet the increasing needs of communities.

“Statistics South Africa says we have provided more than 90% of the population with water. While we can say we have made strides in this regard, we know we have not reached everyone as we should and we need to reach out to them as well, because it is our mandate and it is their constitutional right to be supplied with water,” explained Mahlobo.

He added that the department, through its Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) and Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) programme would provide funding to municipalities for water infrastructure improvements.

Mahlobo explained that in Maluti-A-Phofung, the department had intervened through the RBIG programme when water challenges had occurred, allocating R176-million in the 2022/23 financial year (FY) and R154-million during the FY2024/25 for water projects.

Additionally, through the WSIG programme, the department also allocated R127-million from FY2022/23 through to FY2024/25 for the drilling of boreholes in the Intabazwe, Mokgolokweng sewer pumpstations and the bulk and sewer networks.

Mahlobo further noted that for the first time, the communities of Maluti-A-Phofung were able to receive water from the Sterkfontein dam.

He added that the area would be able to benefit from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project following its completion.

Mahlobo outlined numerous projects as part of the DWS’s ongoing intervention in the Maluti-A-Phofung area, including the upgrading of the Sterkfontein Water Treatment Works; the refurbishment and upgrading of the Fika Patso Water Purification Plant; the upgrading of the Intabazwe rising main; and the bulk water supply to Tshiamo and Makgolokweng, among others.

He noted that allocations for infrastructure development were made during FY2023/24 to municipalities under the Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality as well, including R100-million for Setsoto, R83-million for Nketoana and R60-million to Dihlabeng.

The Imbizo discussed the development of a Social Compact through the DDM approach, as well as how to improve service delivery in communities.

The Imbizo also entered into the Thabo Mofutsanyane District Social Compact progress reviewing partnership, devising ways to strengthen it. The Imbizo looked at water and sanitation services within the area as drivers of socio-economic development.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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