Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has called for the fast-tracking of two bulk water projects in the Ugu district municipality, in KwaZulu-Natal.
In recent months, the municipality has been under the spotlight owing to its inability to provide reliable water supply to residents, who took to the streets in protest over not having had access to water for months.
“There is water, the dams are full, but people are complaining that they have no water coming out of their taps. We have not balanced our approach. We have been emphasising water services and not spending enough time on water management services,” Mchunu said during a visit to the area last week.
“We have a deficit of 70 megalitres a day. The demand is 200 megalitres a day, while the current supply is 130 megalitres a day and the [water] availability is 224 megalitres a day.
"The water is there, it is a matter of finding ways to quickly treat the water because the supply is raw,” Department of Water and Sanitation water services management director-general Risimati Matthye pointed out.
Mchunu said the province was working on two bulk projects – the Lower Umkhomazi water project and the building of a third dam for the Ugu district. Both projects are expected to be completed in 2025.
“The Lower Umkhomazi water project will add 100 megalitres a day and it’ll do more than close the gap, it will cater for further development. The only problem is that it will take time. The commission period is 2025 but we want to fast-track it.
“Ugu has two dams, and these are clearly not enough; so a third one is being built. The dam will add 41 megalitres day. The process has started,” Mchunu said.